America's pork producers entered the 12th year of their Celebrated Chefs program by naming five distinguished chefs as spokespersons for the Pork Checkoff and Pork. The Other White Meat®. More than 50 leading chefs are members of the expanding Celebrated Chef Alumnae group.
The chefs were selected for their culinary excellence, creativity and originality in their menuing of pork. The 2008 Celebrated Chefs are comprised of both independent and chain operators.
The 2008 Celebrated Chefs are:
Mark Orfaly of Pigalle (Boston, Mass.) – Named one of Food & Wine’s 10 Best New Chefs, Mark continues to impress Bostonians with his internationally influenced cuisine.
Debra Paquette of Zola (Nashville, Tenn.) – Named one of the "Top Sixty Restaurants" by Gourmet magazine, Debra specializes in Southern European and New South cuisine.
Kent Rathbun of Abacus and Jasper’s (Dallas, Texas) – A James Beard Award nominee, Kent also introduced President George Bush's 19,000 Inauguration guests to authentic Texas cuisine.
Joseph Royer of Saturn Grill (Nichols Hills, Okla.) – As a two-time National Taste of Elegance winner, Royer creates all menu items at Saturn Grill from scratch.
Charlie Torgerson of Famous Dave’s (Rogers, Minn.) – A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Torgerson owns and operates the Famous Dave’s franchisees in Minnesota and is principal of American Restaurant Consultants.
The Celebrated Chefs program highlights pork's variety among chefs, foodservice operators and distributors. Through industry speaking engagements, participation in operator workshops, cooking demonstrations and innovative menu development, Celebrated Chefs maintain a focus on pork as a customer-pleasing and profitable center-of-the-plate protein.
The Celebrated Chefs will be featured in a Checkoff-funded media tour in the spring. Through highly visible efforts of the Celebrated Chefs program, the pork industry continues to heighten awareness of the benefits of pork and to build a preference for pork among American consumers.