By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
It comes as no surprise to us here at Floored! that celebrity chef and grilling master Guy Fieri crowned Kristina Vänni the National Pork Board’s “Next Pork Personality” after a live grilling showdown at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival. After all, the National Restaurant Association recognized Vänni as the NRA Show 2009 “Hot Chef" Grilling Challenge winner back in May, 2009.
Vänni’s "Hot Chef" Grilling Challenge winning video submitted on the NRA Show YouTube™ channel featured her preparing maple-Dijon glazed grilled Arctic char with a cucumber, fennel and radish salad, grilled bread cheese with cloudberry preserves and a lingonberry-cardamom martini (yum!). Vänni received a trip to the NRA Show in Chicago and a spot in the Culinary Scene among top chefs and master butchers including Rick Bayless, Marcus Samuelsson, Chris Cosentino and many others.
“Not only did Vänni wow the judges with a presentation that would entertain any food fan, but she also brought an ‘off-da-hook’ recipe that really showcased the great flavor and versatility of my favorite protein – pork,” said Fieri.
Vänni walked away with the $5,000 grand prize for her pork-tastic recipe “Spicy Asian Pork Tenderloin with Pear Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Baby Bok Choy” recipe. Have no fear, as the NRA Show 2009 “Hot Chef" Grilling Challenge winner, Vänni was more than happy to share her winning recipe with us.
Also, here are tips from the “Top Hog” herself on how to help make your next grilling go-around a hit, no matter what the season.
• “P” is for pairing. Because pork is so versatile, it can be matched with any flavor.
• “O” is for open flame. Grilling is a great preparation option for pork. Searing the outside makes for a flavorful crust and most inside.
• “R” is for resting. Avoid cutting pork too soon after it finishes cooking to keep it juicy.
• “K” is for Kristina. Vänni says it’s important to let your cooking personality come through in your food.
Kristina Vänni’s award-winning original recipes have been published in cookbooks and magazines from Pillsbury to Better Homes and Gardens. She is currently a contributing writer and community host for the Better Homes and Gardens Web sites BetterRecipes.com and MixingBowl.com.
To help keep you up on the latest food and beverage trends at restaurants around the country, Floored! has enlisted the help of Vänni to share every Friday between now and the end of the year recipes, tips and advice to make your dining at home or restaurant a success. Vänni will share original food and beverage recipes using trendy ingredients from the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot” survey of American Culinary Federation member chefs.
Be on the lookout for Vänni's first installment next Friday. In the meantime, if you haven't already registered for NRA Show 2010 and the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB), don't delay!