Highlighting well-established cuts of U.S. beef and introducing new cuts expected to be popular, USMEF conducted educational seminars for HRI professionals in Chimkent and Astana, two of the largest cities in Kazakhstan. The seminars, which targeted chefs and meat buyers, were funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) and the Beef Checkoff Program.
About 30 chefs participated in the Chimkent event, which featured both U.S. beef premium and alternative cuts including top blade, short ribs, hanging tender, chuck flaps, cube roll, New York strip and short loin. A grilling and tasting session followed cutting and cooking demonstrations.
Chimkent is the third most populous city in Kazakhstan behind Almaty and Astana. It has the second-largest metropolitan area with an estimated 1.4 million people.
“These chefs represented high-end hotels, fine dining restaurants and wine houses in the city, so it was important to not only provide them with knowledge of U.S. beef but also let them taste and experience the quality because they are the people making menu decisions,” explained Galina Kochubeeva, USMEF representative in the region. “Later in the evening, a tasting was held for consumers. The consumers in Kazakhstan are the ones who can build demand for U.S. beef.”
Pavel Galkovsky, chef at T-Bone Steakhouses in Russia, presented techniques for preparing and grilling U.S. beef at the Chimkent seminar.
“He has a great background in U.S. beef utilization and was a member of the first chef team from the region to visit Texas for training,” said Kochubeeva, adding that Galkovsky had previously conducted U.S. beef educational seminars and tastings for consumers.
In Astana, USMEF hosted 35 chefs and meat buyers at the high-end Karlsson restaurant near the U.S. Embassy. At the time of the seminar, Astana was preparing to host Astana Expo 2017, an international exposition expected to draw 3 to 4 million visitors.
In addition to U.S. beef top blade, short ribs, hanging tender, chuck flaps, cube roll and New York strip, the Astana seminar introduced Texas-style U.S. beef brisket.
“There could not have been a better time to introduce and promote U.S. beef to the market’s chefs and buyers,” said Kochubeeva. “The city was getting ready to host people from all over the world, and the HRI sector was preparing to serve visitors and tourists, along with residents from all over Kazakhstan. Astana is seeing more and more tourism and has received high ratings as a destination. So it’s important that USMEF keep the city’s HRI sector informed about U.S. beef and its availability.”