U.S. Beef Given “Hollywood” Treatment at Lunar New Year Event in VietnamPublished: Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
Working to build and strengthen relationships with red meat buyers in Vietnam, USMEF collaborated with a major beef importer to conduct a U.S. beef promotion during a Lunar New Year celebration. The U.S. beef cooking demonstration with “Hollywood Chef” Jack Lee, held at a Lotte Mart supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City, was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.
“We partnered with the Thao Tien Company, one of the biggest U.S. beef importers and a major supplier for Lotte Mart, a fast-growing retail chain in Vietnam,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region. “This importer also supplies other large chains like AEON, Mega Mart, E-Mart and a number of smaller retailers.”
The goal, Yin said, was to provide a platform for the importer and retailer to introduce U.S. beef to more consumers – and to present menu ideas and create awareness about U.S. beef through the celebrity chef appearance.
Using social media to draw attention to the event and to the U.S. beef cooking demonstration by Lee, announcements were made on the Lotte Mart Facebook page.
Lee, a Vietnamese-American chef who has lived in southern California for more than 35 years, is often referred to as “Hollywood Chef” by the Vietnamese media because of his background as a private caterer for Hollywood celebrities. Lee has travelled frequently to Vietnam in recent years to share his culinary talents with a younger generation of Vietnamese chefs, creating a positive image among consumers, Yin explained.
A number of dignitaries also joined in the celebration. Timothy Liston, deputy principle officer of the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, joined Agriculture Attaché Gerard Smith and Senior Agricultural Specialist Vo Thanh Kiet at the event. Liston was the guest of honor during Lee’s U.S. beef cooking demonstration.
Lee prepared three dishes using U.S. beef: top blade steak and vegetables, chuck flap steak with salad and classic pan-seared ribeye steaks.
Tasting samples of the U.S. beef dishes were given to Lotte Mart shoppers and guests at the celebration. Meanwhile, guests were invited to play games and participate in quizzes that helped educate consumers about the quality and attributes of U.S. beef.
“Another of Chef Lee’s strengths is that he develops his demonstrations using simple instructions, so consumers can easily purchase U.S. beef and cook the dishes at home,” said Yin.