Every Smile photograph featuring Hy-Vee Chef Elizabeth Hill seems to include one of two things: a beautifully plated creation you can almost taste, or the trophy it just earned.
For the second consecutive year, Chef Elizabeth whipped up the winning dessert — and won Best in Show honors — at the highly competitive Riverside Casino and Golf Resort Culinary Classic.
Hill, who works her culinary magic daily at the Marion, Iowa, Hy-Vee, earned $3,000 for her efforts. About 40 Midwest chefs competed in eight categories, from soup and salad to the best student-produced dish.
“The dessert category was full for the second year in a row,” Hill said. “All the gold medal dishes from the eight categories were then presented to a separate panel of chef/judges.”
The annual competition brings together top culinary pros for a night of cooking, tasting and fund-raising. The activities benefit Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere, a nonprofit organization that works with the Veterans Administration to develop golf programs for injured military vets.
Hill’s double-winning dish was called “The Cheese Course,” which she described as “everything you love about a charcuterie and cheese plate, turned into dessert.”
The recipe featured two locally made cheeses from Milton Creamery as well as Iowa’s premium La Quercia prosciutto. Included were a wheel of white chocolate vanilla bean mousse made with tangy quark cheese atop a salad of under-ripe pear dressed in lemon and mint. The array was accompanied by aged cheddar micro macarons and prosciutto glass — crisp candied prosciutto so fine it looks like stained glass — with salted shortbread pebbles, honeyed basil crème anglaise, peppermint syrup, and a spun sugar garnish.
Yes, you can almost taste it. But you’ll have to settle for another photo.