Taiwan Seminar Focuses on U.S. Beef Alternative Cuts for BurgersPublished: Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
To capitalize on the “creative burger culture” trend in Taiwan and continue efforts to provide restaurants and foodservice companies with more information about U.S. beef, USMEF conducted a U.S. burger and alternative cuts seminar in Taipei. Funding for the event was provided by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program.
Along with promoting the use of U.S. beef for new burger recipes, the seminar also served as a bridge between foodservice operators and suppliers. USMEF invited packers and major importers to the seminar, where U.S. beef clod heart, petite tender, plate finger, rib cap plate and top sirloin cap were displayed.
Cooking demonstrations held during the seminar showed participants different ways of making a burger, and lessons shared about meat science also encouraged chefs and restaurants how to make good use of new and alternative U.S. beef cuts. USMEF invited Dr. Wu Yun Chu of Tunghai University to share basic meat knowledge, discuss food safety issues and introduce new U.S. beef cuts. He also covered new government policies in Taiwan concerning meat and foodservice regulations.
In preparation for the seminar, USMEF interviewed many American-style restaurants, asking operators and restaurant managers about preferences and tastes. In order to dispel the idea of burgers as “low-priced fast food,” USMEF invited two young chefs – Tony de Graff, of Texas Roadhouse, and Leo Lee, of Mastro Café – to participate in the seminar. Included in de Graff’s presentation was an explanation of how to make burgers in the Texas style he learned at a Texas Beef Council seminar last year. USMEF produced a video featuring de Graff using U.S. beef chuck and short plate to make a Texas style burger. The seminar also featured a demonstration of top sirloin cap marinated and cooked sous-vide (slowly in airtight bags), then grilled fat upwards to give it a distinguishing flavor and texture. The cut was then sliced to make a steak burger.
Alex Lin, general manager of Sky Lark, which owns 50 restaurants in Taiwan, was pleased with the USMEF seminar, noting “the introduction to different beef cuts will help my company choose the proper cut for different types of burgers that will be offered in our restaurants as we embrace the burger culture.”
Alex Sun, USMEF marketing manager in Taiwan, said food trends are being influenced by people in their 20s and 30s who went to the U.S. for an education, returned to Taiwan with a love for American food, especially hamburgers. The growth of American restaurant chains Taiwan has also fostered demand.
“Since McDonald’s came to Taiwan in 1984, American-style restaurants such as KFC, TGI Fridays, Hard Rock Café and Planet Hollywood have arrived, bringing more and more experienced personnel,” said Sun. ”This pushed momentum for the future development of more American-style restaurants in Taiwan,” said Sun.
Note: USMEF also recently produced a video featuring Tony de Graff demonstrating the use of U.S. beef top sirloin cap to make barbecue. See that video here.