Demonstrating the versatility of U.S. beef, pork and lamb, USMEF conducted a U.S. meat seminar in Myanmar as part of USDA’s Global Based Initiative (GBI) program. With support from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and funding from the Beef Checkoff Program and the Pork Checkoff, the seminar conducted educational training for culinary professionals who belong to the Myanmar Chefs Association.
The two-day seminar, held at the Premium Distribution Test Kitchen in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, began with a welcome by U.S. Embassy Agricultural Affairs Officer Rachel Nelson. Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region, followed with an overview of USMEF and the U.S. red meat industry.
On the first day, cutting demonstrations were conducted using U.S. beef short plate, hanging tender and short rib. USMEF Chef Melvin Ho prepared three dishes from these cuts, which participating chefs sampled.
“Over the course of the seminar, we focused on U.S. beef, pork and lamb separately, explaining the quality, attributes and various applications, and how each works with different types of cuisine,” explained Yin. “This is an important approach when you are working with chefs, especially in markets where there isn’t a lot of experience with U.S. red meat. We wanted to stress the difference between the U.S. and competitors’ products and give the chefs a hands-on experience.”
The second day began with an overview of the U.S. pork industry, including a discussion of how it compares with the pork industries of other countries. Ho explained the various primal and sub-primal cuts of the pork carcass. A cutting and cooking demonstration by Ho and Yin featured U.S. pork loin and shoulder butt. Three different dishes were made from these two cuts and sampled by participating chefs.
An informative presentation on the U.S. lamb industry was well-received, as Myanmar is open to U.S. lamb and has a sizable population that regularly dines on lamb.
For the seminar finale, participants were divided into teams to create their own unique dishes featuring local flavors made with U.S. red meat.
Yin encouraged the participants to be proactive in learning even more about U.S. beef, pork and lamb.
“We want them to get familiar with U.S. red meat so they will take the step to include it on their menus in Myanmar,” she said. “There was a lot of discussion among the chefs about its potential and how using U.S. beef, pork and lamb could help their businesses.”