USMEF recently conducted U.S. beef butcher training workshops in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time. The two sessions attracted nearly 100 importers, chefs and butchers from hotels, restaurants and retail outlets in the region. Funding support for the training sessions, which featured flank, hanging tender, sirloin, chuck, tenderloin, striploin and ribeye, was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program.
The first workshop was held in collaboration with the Emirates Culinary Guild at Palm Grill Restaurant in Dubai Deira Creek. The second took place in partnership with U.S. beef importer FANTCO at Trader Vic’s at the Dubai Marina. Training activities were led by Uwe Micheel, executive chef and director of kitchens with Radisson Blu Hotels; Chef Fadi Selwan, U.S. meat specialist at Radisson Blu; and Chef Robin Gomes from Trader Vic’s.
USMEF representative Bassam Bou Saleh initiated each workshop by welcoming the audience and showing them a brief presentation explaining U.S. beef quality, versatility, grading, safety, handling, storage tips and cooking applications. Chef Selwan and Chef Gomes then demonstrated beef cutting, explaining to butchers the intricacies of various cuts and cutting techniques for each. A live cooking demonstration with U.S. beef was supported by an educational video.
After the demonstration portion of the Palm Grill workshop, participants were divided into groups and prepared recipes using U.S. beef. At the Trader Vic’s workshop, a cutting demo was followed by a U.S. beef tasting.
“The audience really appreciated the technical aspect of these events, getting to know more information related to the cutting techniques of the different U.S. beef cuts along with some handling and storage tips,” said Saleh. “In addition, the succulent taste, juiciness, and tenderness of U.S. beef were highly praised. Participants were definitely interested in taking part of future events organized by USMEF in the region.”
The UAE is the leading destination in the Middle East region for U.S. beef muscle cuts, with exports through May totaling 2,319 metric tons valued at $29.1 million – up 13 percent in volume and 22 percent in value from the same period last year.
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