Every year the Iowa Restaurant Association, The Soyfoods Council and the Iowa Beef Industry Council organizes a statewide Culinary Competition in search of Iowa’s top chef. The competition is unique because the competing chefs must use at least six ounces of a non-traditional cut of beef for the main entrée and at least a ¼ cup of tofu in a side dish or sauce.
This year we’re judging beef sirloin – ball tip. Check out the graphic below to learn more about the ball tip cut.
The 4th location of the 2019 competition was at Cafe Dodici in Washington, IA with Chef Tim Howard.
What is in the name Cafe Dodici?
If you have studied Italian then you probably already know what dodici means, but for people like myself that don’t know a lot of Italian, it means “twelve”. They chose that to be part of the name beause 12 plays a significant role in many areas of our daily lives. You can learn more about their philosophy of their name here.
Restauranteurs Lorraine Williams, her husband Alessandro Scipioni, and their niece Tsalika Rich along with Chef Tim Howard and his brother, sous chef Jim Howard have created a place where you feel both pampered and relaxed.
Inside Cafe Dodici, you’ll find artwork and artifacts from around the world! Two of the chandeliers in the restaurant were hand made and painted in Florence, Italy. Another piece of work that was interesting was the oil painting of downtown Washington from 1907!
The last neat piece of the restaurant is that, above it, you can rent rooms – especially great for a Foodster roadtrip because you will want to try everything on the menu and that would make it a very sleepy drive home if you decided not to stay.
Chef Tim Howard prepared Ball Tip Penne with Crema di Silken Tofu and a Silken Pistachio Bruschetta. His use of tofu was extremely creative. The silken pistachio bruschetta was a highlight. As you heard above, he created a faux-parmesan cheese by dehydrating some silken tofu and it turned out very well!
You can get a good look at the bruschetta here:
All in all, it was a lovely experience with great hospitality, and a very creative dish. I highly encourage you to make a trip to Washington, Iowa to experience the culinary creativity from Cafe Dodici!