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Audio: EU Chef Team’s Visit Designed to Create U.S. Beef Advocates

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A team of chefs from Poland, Finland, Germany, Romania, Italy, France, Holland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria recently spent a week in Colorado learning about U.S. beef as part of a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) program designed to make them advocates for U.S. beef back in their home countries. The mission included training sessions and tours of ranches, restaurants and retail outlets.

Yuri Barutkin, USMEF Representative in the European Union, says it’s important to note that the chefs already work extensively with U.S. beef and they were selected in partnership with U.S. beef distributors in various European countries. The plan going forward is that the distributors will use these chefs in future promotions and projects focused on U.S. beef.

Ralph Loos: Chefs from across Europe were in Denver recently as part of a U.S. Meat Export Federation program designed to make them advocates for U.S. Beef. Yuri Barutkin, USMEF Representative in the European Union, led the team to cutting and cooking seminars and on visits to restaurants, retail outlets and a cattle ranch. In this USMEF report, Barutkin explains the goal of the activity.

Yuri Barutkin: We want to train those chefs to be multipliers in the European market. We want them togp back to their homeland and talk to their colleagues, talk to their peers and talk to their clients and tell them what they know about U.S. beef. Since we want these people to be U.S. beef ambassadors in Europe, we want to show them the whole process. What makes U.S. beef special? What are the particular attributes of U.S. beef? Why is it different from beefs of other origins? And I think it is very important because U.S. beef does have a story to tell – the science behind U.S. beef, the process of producing U.S. beef. Also, we are going to visit a farm that produces cattle for the European Union. So basically, we are trying to push the knowledge on them, so they absorb as much knowledge as possible.

Ralph Loos: Two separate training sessions in Denver by Chef Jay McCarthy helped give the chefs new ideas for utilizing U.S. beef, while a day-long tour of restaurants inspired creative ideas for new dishes.

Yuri Barutkin: U.S. beef is not just about ribeye, tenderloin and striploin. There are many other cuts available, and with a bit of knowledge and a bit of expertise, you can actually make fantastic steaks at lower value and I think it is very important to Europe because Europe pays high dollar for beef, it is a very expensive product in Europe, but we provide an opportunity for the chefs to learn about the alternative cuts.

Ralph Loos: For more information, please visit usmef.org. For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Ralph Loos.