Market Cafe – Ankeny, Iowa #1 4

Hy-Vee Market Cafe in Ankeny Iowa

The Hy-Vee Market Cafe in Ankeny is the first location that I’m judging food at for the 2015 Dine Iowa Grand Tasting Gala event.

This is my second year of judging for this event. You can find all of last year’s visit here

Chef Robert Anderson and I are the main judges. It is a privilege to get to work with him, the IRA staff, and members from the Soy and Beef Council.

During the next couple of weeks, leading up to the September 24th event, we have 8 different restaurants to visit. These restaurants are all across Iowa. Last night, we visited the first.

Market Cafe – Ankeny, Iowa #1

This Market Cafe has been only open for two months, but that hasn’t stopped them from acting like it has been longer. The staff is very attentive, friendly and the atmosphere is pleasant. I must say, the Market Cafe’s and Market Cafe & Grill’s have been doing a great job of making you lose the though you’re eating in a grocery store. The bars are my favorite piece. I love the lightening and they always have a great tap lineup of local beers. Their food menu is impressive too. It’s usually a seasonal menu with some of the freshest ingredients. 

ankeny market cafe



The Chef at the Hy-Vee Market Cafe in Ankeny

Chef Dylan Caryl is the head chef at the Market Cafe in Ankeny. 

hy-vee chef dylan caryl


Since this contest is about the chef and their skills, I wanted focus on them a little more by asking some questions. Here are 7 questions with Chef 

  1. How many years have you been a chef?
    Two years
  2. Where did you learn to become a chef?
    ICI (Iowa Culinary institute) DMACC’s culinary program.
  3. Do you have a chef that you look up to?
    Emeril Lagasse.
  4. What is the best thing about being a chef?
    The best thing is being able to make whatever you’re in the mood for or creating what you’re hungry for.
  5. The best playlist for cooking has to include (artist, song etc.)…
    It is so hard to choose. I like to listen to alternative radio.
  6. What’s your favorite thing to cook outside of “the office”?
    I have always liked making different styles of bread. I bake sourdough bread every chance I get.
  7. What or who inspired you to become a chef?
    I have always been excited to be in the kitchen. I like learning new things to make or use some of my creativity in the kitchen. 

The Meal

Rules: With this event, each competitor will prepare a main entrée recipe utilizing Braveheart Black Angus Beef Top Sirloin, donated by Performance Food Group (at least six ounces of cooked beef must be used). Additionally, each competitor will prepare a Tofu (soft-silken or water packed) side dish or sauce (at least a 1⁄4 cup of tofu must be used).


Main Dish

Chef Dylan created a Braveheart Black Angus Beef Top Sirloin Topped with a Roasted Chili Tofu Crust accompanied with a Citrus Bacon Tofu Saute. I liked that he tried to create a crust with the tofu which you might see with blue cheese. The saute was wonderful because it really brought out the best of early fall. Each bite took me to a crisp, fall day. It was because of the use of smokey bacon, baby Bells mushrooms and sweetcorn (removed from the ear). There was even tofu that was cubed, but I thought it did a nice job of absorbing the flavors from the bacon and corn as well as a little bit of lime juice. 




Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset



Chef Dylan Caryl displayed a wonderful plate. He should be proud of his presentation.

Contact Hy-Vee Market Cafe in Ankeny

410 North Ankeny Boulevard

Phone: (515) 964-1233

Sunday – Thursday: 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

I’m so excited for the next couple of weeks and I am eager to see how creative the competing chefs can be!

2015 Grand Tasting Gala Website banner

About Nick Lucs

Nick is the founder of Des Moines Foodster. He was born and raised in Des Moines and has always had a passion for being creative in the kitchen. Des Moines Foodster has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Juice Magazine, amNY, Travel Iowa and the Greater Des Moines Convention & Visitors Bureau blog. He believes that coffee and craft beer make the world go 'round .

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 thoughts on “Market Cafe – Ankeny, Iowa #1