Mexico City Workshop Highlights Versatility of U.S. PorkPublished: Friday, April 22nd, 2016
In an effort to capitalize on established relationships with the HRI sector in central Mexico, USMEF organized a U.S. pork workshop at the Middleby facilities in Mexico City. The workshop, which targeted the sales staff of a major importer/distributor, received funding support from the Pork Checkoff.
Middleby is one of the main suppliers of kitchen equipment in Mexico and regularly works with restaurants and others in the Mexican foodservice industry.
“The goal of these workshops is usually to train chefs, restaurant managers and food buyers in Mexico on U.S. pork products, and show them the fabulous dishes can be created and then featured on HRI menus,” explained Julieta Hernandez, USMEF’s HRI manager in Mexico. “The audience at this particular workshop was mostly comprised of sales personnel from Sigma-Comnor, a leading foodservice group in Mexico. This firm is by far the largest importer and distributor of U.S. red meat to Mexico’s foodservice sector. Our hope is that the information provided at the workshop will help them sell more U.S. pork to their HRI customers.”
Along with a look at various cooking techniques for U.S. pork products, USMEF Corporate Chef German Navarette shared his knowledge about proper meat handling inside and outside the kitchen. Navarette worked with a variety of U.S. pork cuts: bone-in loins, tomahawks, back ribs, St. Louis style ribs, spare ribs, baby back ribs, shanks and bellies. A tasting took place at the end of the workshop, allowing participants to sample U.S. pork cuts using the different cooking techniques demonstrated by Navarette.
“This kind of workshop enables the sales force not only to visualize end products, but also to experience their versatility and final result when cooking with those products,” said Navarette. “We were able to break misperceptions about pork, which included some people seeing it as a second-class protein. This was a great opportunity for these same people to see pork as a high-quality, center-of-the-plate item and generate new ideas that can help the HRI sector through some difficult economic times.”