More than 70 chefs from some of the finest hotels, restaurants and catering services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) learned how to utilize alternative cuts of U.S. beef in a variety of ways at training workshops arranged by USMEF. Funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, separate workshops were held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai and at The Club in Abu Dhabi.
USMEF partnered with the Emirates Culinary Guild to conduct the trainings, which also included about 20 culinary school students who were educated on the quality attributes of U.S. beef and the versatility and value of underutilized beef cuts.
The workshops were led by Bassam Bousaleh and Rasha Al Awar, USMEF representatives in the region, along with Chef Uwe Micheel, director of kitchens at Radisson Blu and president of the Emirates Culinary Guild in Dubai. Chef Peter de Kauwe, executive chef at The Club, led the workshop there.
Attendees heard an overview of USMEF and the U.S. beef industry, including a description of U.S. inspection and safety standards and grading systems. They also received an explanation of the variety of U.S. beef cuts available and a description of different cooking applications for the cuts.
“Versatility of U.S. beef was one of the main points, and the chefs explained the different cutting techniques and cooking tips that can be applied when preparing beef dishes,” said Bousaleh. “The sessions also emphasized the profitability of using underutilized U.S. beef cuts without sacrificing the consistency in quality and flavor of the meat.”
To allow them to use what they had learned at the Radisson Blu workshop, organizers grouped the chefs into five teams and challenged them to prepare beef recipes – main courses and appetizers – based on the information presented. Beef kabobs, beef stroganoff, fajitas, beef sliders and beef asparagus rolls were among the resulting dishes. A brief quiz solidified their understanding of the topics covered.
At The Club, a live cooking demonstration showcased numerous underutilized cuts of U.S. beef, including hanging tender, brisket, flank and chuck. This was followed by a tasting session in which chefs experienced the distinct tenderness and flavor of U.S. beef.