U.S. beef took center stage at a reception bringing Ecuadorean officials and importers together in an effort to highlight the importance of a reliable beef supply for Ecuador’s foodservice and tourism industries. The event, which was organized by USMEF and the U.S. Embassy and held at the residence of the U.S. ambassador in Quito, was partially funded by the Beef Checkoff Program.
Described as a “Surf and Turf” reception, the festivities featured appetizers and main dishes made with U.S. beef paired with Ecuadorean seafood.
More than 100 guests, including importers and foodservice representatives, attended the reception, which included remarks by Todd C. Chapman, U.S. ambassador to Ecuador, and Casey E. Bean, regional agricultural counselor for the U.S. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Taste Ecuador, a catering company operated by well-known South American chef Carlos Gallardo, prepared several dishes, including U.S. beef ribeye, flap meat and outside skirt.
Students from a regional culinary institute assisted Gallardo during the reception, gaining hands-on experience with the flavor and attributes of U.S. beef.
Jessica Julca, USMEF representative in South America, pointed out that there are strong growth opportunities in the Ecuadorean and South American foodservice and retail sectors, but these markets are highly competitive. U.S. beef has done well in Colombia, Chile and Peru and is beginning to gain momentum in Uruguay and Ecuador.
“Ecuador could expand substantially this year as temporary import duties are being phased out, and as tourism grows, the hospitality sector will grow with it,” said Julca. “That is why it is important to promote U.S. beef in Ecuador and keep importers and government officials aware of the advantages and availability of U.S. products.”
The Surf and Turf reception at the U.S. Embassy was an example of creating such awareness, as USMEF distributed printed U.S. beef recipes, along with meat cut descriptions and preparation instructions.
Social media coverage of the event also created awareness: