Eight chefs from across Iowa faced off in the kitchen of Johnny's Italian Steakhouse in West Des Moines Nov. 9, in an annual culinary competition hosted by the Iowa Restaurant Association (IRA) and sponsored by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and The Soyfoods Council. The challenge before each chef was to prepare and present a unique culinary creation encompassing Tri-Tip beef and a soy side dish. This one-of-a-kind competition is held annually in conjunction with Celebrating Excellence, the IRA's Annual Awards Gala. Chef Haley Silhacek, from Ferrari's Ristorante, Cedar Falls, took top honors in the competition with her presentation of "pancetta, tofu and fresh dill stuffed beef Tri-Tip with a blood-orange miso sauce, accompanied by an edamame and tofu orzo with roasted baby pumpkin and roasted asparagus." Silhacek received a $1,000 cash prize.

Chef Ephraim Malag of Tournament Club of Iowa, Polk City, placed second with his "Beef Sarang – beef marinated in soy ginger and saki grilled served with mango edamame relish and breaded tofu." Malag received a $500 cash prize.

Third place winner and the People's Choice winner was Troy Trostel of Trostel's Greenbriar Restaurant & Bar, Johnston. His "cumin soy nut-encrusted Majinola Iowa Beef Tri-Tip with Thai ginger black rice, Sunrise Farms citrus micro green edamame salad with smoked tofu crouton and wasabi soy foam" was the crowd favorite. For his two honors, Trostel received $500 in cash prizes.