Finalists were flown to New York City during the Wine & Food Festival for a tong to tong grill off, with Guy Fieri as host and a judge at the event. Guests were served pork skewers with mango salsa and watched the contestants do what they do best: grill with pork.
According to the New York Post, Guy said pork is his favorite protein with which to cook. "I was reviewing all my recipes and noticed I put it in all my Asian dishes and my Mexican dishes and my Italian dishes," he told the NYPost. "It’s just so universal." He continued, "it’s like a great canvas; it’ll take on anything you throw at it."
And Guy's thoughts on bacon? "I can have bacon on anything," he continued. "I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like bacon unless they’re a vegetarian. And I think even vegetarians, quietly, inside, wish they could."
Robert Burmeister of Chow Gourmet in West Brighton took second in the Search for the Next Pork Personality contest, but Guy Fieri declared him top hog in the taste category. Burmeister made a German Cuban Reuben Pork Burger (click here for the recipe), and Guy said it was "outstanding. On the taste side that was my favorite. It had great flavor."
And Dana Johnson of Ripon, California was also a finalist, with Dana's Hog Log (click here for the recipe) as her entry. In addition to their trip to New York, both runners up were awarded a brand new Char-Broil® RED™ Infrared Gas Grill. Nice!
Guy Fieri crowned Kristina Vanni of North Hollywood, California the National Pork Board’s “Next Pork Personality” on Friday, October 9, 2009. Vanni received a $5,000 grand prize for her original recipe: Spicy Asian Pork Tenderloin with Pear Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Baby Choy (click here for the winning recipe).
For more pictures from the event, click here. And for full information, including contact links, click here.
The National Pork Board's press release quoted Guy Fieri, "Not only did Vanni 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."
And of her experience meeting and cooking for Guy Fieri, Kristina said in a note to me, "He was fastastic! Such a great host and a wonderful person." She continued, "Guy was wonderful, and we all had a pork-tastic time!"
For another brief video interview from the Next Pork Personality event in New York City with Guy Fieri and runner up Robert Burmeister for Predicto TV, click here.
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