With support from the Beef Checkoff Program, USMEF recently conducted hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) sector training workshops in Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. While these are small markets, each of these countries had GDP growth of more than 5 percent last year. This is one of the factors that make them prime targets for U.S. beef exports.
The workshops targeted chefs from the hospitality industry as well as several importers of U.S. beef. Drawing a total of nearly 100 participants, the sessions focused on farm-to-plate education about U.S. beef production, covering such topics as feeding practices and quality grading. This was followed by hands-on culinary training featuring a wide range of beef items, with the main focus being on underutilized cuts. Participants gained valuable information on proper cooking methods, handling techniques and menu applications for each cut demonstrated.
The training sessions allowed chefs to deepen their knowledge regarding specific cutting and preparation techniques of U.S. beef. During the cooking demonstrations, participants had the opportunity to create and sample a range of U.S. beef dishes, experiencing the tenderness and flavor that set U.S. beef apart from its competitors.
USMEF received very positive feedback from both chefs and importers in attendance.
“As a sales professional, the workshop was very helpful for me,” commented Mahmoud Saraj Bashi, sales executive with Qatar-based importer/distributor Deliopolis. “I gained valuable information about U.S. beef that I can share with my customers.”
“Chefs in the Persian Gulf region are hungry for more knowledge about U.S. beef,” said USMEF Regional Director John Brook. “While the potential for beef export growth to this region is significant, these markets are highly competitive and aggressively targeted by nearly every beef-exporting country. So these workshops are a great way to connect with the influencers who are shaping restaurant menus and demonstrate the unique attributes of U.S. beef.”