Offering unique menu ideas for U.S. lamb – pizza and ravioli, for example – USMEF organized promotional events in Mexico designed to present protein options for the upcoming holiday seasons. With funding from the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), these activities targeted culinary students and working chefs in Cancun, along with marketing professionals and members of the media in Mexico City.
In Cancun, USMEF partnered with the California Milk Advisory Board to host seminars led by chef Alejandro Zarate, who focused on a recipe book built to educate chefs on how to prepare, cook and serve American lamb cuts. Held in the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school at Anahuac University, the seminars were divided into two sessions – one for 15 students at the school and another for 30 chefs and foodservice staff.
Both Cancun seminars introduced an innovative dish: pizza made with U.S. lamb.
“These activities are important because they help strengthen our relationship with chefs already working in Mexico’s restaurant scene and the future generation of chefs,” said Elena Gonzalez, USMEF HRI manager for Mexico. “Giving these chefs and future chefs new ideas for dishes also helps build demand for U.S. lamb. The goal is for them to take the ideas and share them with their colleagues and customers.”
In Mexico City, USMEF teamed with Jaso, a restaurant known for serving creative dishes, to serve a dinner with U.S. lamb as the centerpiece. The event was attended by 25 special guests, including commercial partners, marketing executives and media influencers.
A Jaso chef presented new dishes with U.S. lamb: lamb ravioli with mashed sweet potatoes and artichokes and roasted lamb with barley risotto, yellow corn, peas, asparagus and cremini mushrooms.
“Jaso was interested in promoting U.S. lamb because the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons traditionally are a time when many people in Mexico serve lamb,” said Gonzalez. “The new ideas presented at the dinner were very popular and show that there are many options for restaurants serving lamb and for consumers wanting to cook and serve lamb to their families and friends.”