Valley Junction pub wins food competition using tofu at the Iowa State Fair

Brian Taylor Carlson | Des Moines Register | 12:03 pm CDT August 15, 2018
A panel of celebrity judges picked a Best New Deal winner and two finalists for the Best New Food as the Iowa State Fair unveiled all the new foods for 2018.

Fried food on a stick isn't the only foodie favorite at the 2018 Iowa State Fair.

On Monday, fairgoers sampled original soft silken tofu-based salad dressing creations from four professional chefs. Crowds watched each chef make and discuss their dressings in front of a panel of professional judges.

Plan your Iowa State Fair adventures: This fair guide — including maps and schedule — can be printed or saved to your mobile device 

An orange walnut tofu dressing over a mixed local greens salad created by Chef George Migliero from G Migs 5th Street Pub.
Iowa Restaurant Association/Special to the Register

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The competing chefs were challenged to make salad dressing recipes which used Mori-nu Soft Silken Tofu as the base of the dressing, were consumer friendly, gluten-free and delicious enough to put on a restaurant menu.

And the winner is...

Chef George Migliero from G Migs 5th Street Pub took home the gold with an orange walnut tofu dressing over a mixed local greens salad.
Iowa Restaurant Association/Special to the Register

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This year's champion is Chef George Migliero from G Migs 5th Street Pub in Valley Junction, West Des Moines. Migliero took home the gold with an orange walnut tofu dressing over a mixed local greens salad.

Other competing chefs included:

All participants received cash prizes.

The competition was hosted by the Iowa Restaurant Association and The Soyfoods Council, an affiliate of the Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Restaurant Association. It was held in the Agriculture Building on the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Each chef demonstrated the process of making the dressing and then served four judges as well as a crowd of fairgoers.

More Iowa State Fair food coverage:

Contest judges included soy producer and Iowa Soybean Association board member Jeff Frank, food blogger Cristin Clark with Food & Swine, reporter Ben Oldach with WHO-TV 13 and chef John Andres with the Iowa Culinary Institute.

Last year's winner was Tag Grandgeorge of Le Jardin in Des Moines for his sesame ginger tofu dressing.

All of the chefs' recipes are available online at both the Iowa Restaurant Association and The Soyfoods Council websites: restaurantiowa.com and thesoyfoodscouncil.com.

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