SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — October is National Pork Month, but the popular ingredient will spend September under the spotlight in Sioux Falls.

17 local businesses are asking customers to put pork on their fork during the Downtown Pork Showdown.

“It’s a great time to come out to downtown restaurants because even if you have a favorite spot, they’ve created something brand new for you this month,” DTSF Marketing Director Tenley Schwartz said.

The event is an opportunity for chefs to show off their creativity, with dishes ranging from burnt ends to mac & cheese and even a pork parfait.

“I think Sioux Falls loves food and loves having opinions on it, and downtown is a great place to go and try all kinds of new things,” Schwartz said.

“That’s what chefs love to do and that’s what I love to do is try to come up with something that’s going to appeal to the masses,” Chef Lance’s on Phillips owner Lance White said.

Lance White owns Chef Lance’s on Phillips, and is the only champion this competition has known, winning the Showdown in 2021 and ’22. He describes this year’s dish as ‘comfort on a plate’.

“We went with the highest quality pork that we could find which is an Iberian pork,” White said. “We paired that with something that everyone knows which is an au Gratin potato and then we elevated that by adding tons of bacon to it,” White added.

White hopes to make it a three-peat, but knows — and hopes — the other chefs will bring their ‘A’ game.

“My wife and I love going around and sampling all the different ones, sometimes we’ll get three or four of them to-go and bring them back and everybody shares them,” White said.

Ultimately, who wins is up to the people.

“You try them, you rate them on the DTSF Digital Passport, and then the winner is the one who has the highest rating at the end of the month,” Tenley Schwartz said.

The Downtown Pork Showdown starts Friday, and continues all of September. If Chef Lance’s is on your list, White suggests making a reservation.