To promote U.S. beef and demonstrate new cooking trends, USMEF led a trade team of chefs and food distributors from Mexico’s HRI sector to San Antonio, Texas, for training at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). Funding was provided by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program.
The two-day course at the CIA included the breaking down of a half-carcass of U.S. beef. Explanations and menu ideas for each cut were given by USMEF HRI Manager Julieta Hernandez and USMEF Corporative Chef German Navarrete, who also organized a U.S. beef cooking and sampling opportunity for each participant. The hands-on training was supplemented by visits to local restaurants, where additional menu concepts and new ways to prepare U.S. beef were observed.
U.S. beef cuts promoted at the trade team activity were shoulder clod, beef ribs, tenderloin, top sirloin, strip loin, brisket and round.
“Trade teams create a strong bond between chefs and U.S. red meat, as the chefs learn not only a totally different breakdown of the primal, but also the best cooking techniques for each cut,” said Hernandez. “They have the opportunity of working directly with all these cuts, and they go back to their markets full of new ideas and a greater appreciation of U.S. red meat products.”
Navarrete noted the activities allowed chefs to witness the versatility of U.S. beef primals and enabled them to share experiences, viewpoints and approaches with chefs from other restaurants.
“In the training sessions we talked about culinary trends, and once we visited the restaurants, the chefs on the team were able to see those concepts applied,” said Navarrete. “That made the whole experience very complete.”
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