Promoting selected cuts of U.S. red meat to Central American chefs and importers, USMEF held three cutting and cooking seminars in San Jose, Costa Rica. The seminars, funded by the Pork Checkoff and the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), were also attended by regional sales staff from Walmart and Belca, a major food distributor in Central America.
USMEF meat consultants Lucia Ruano and Saul Bueso, Chef Pablo Lou and Marketing Director Gerardo Rodríguez presented the seminars at the Keith & Ramirez Gastronomy School in San Jose.
“The main objectives were to train importers on new U.S. pork and beef cut options and show them cooking trends that could be successful in their markets,” said Rodriguez. “We demonstrated new ways of cooking, serving and presenting a variety of dishes that can help restaurants differentiate their menu offerings.”
Each seminar was divided into two segments. The first included an introduction to the quality, attributes, and characteristics of U.S. pork and beef products, including juiciness, tenderness and flavor. The second part consisted of a cutting demonstration in which Bueso showed attendees how to properly portion an assortment of pork and beef cuts.
Attendees then were given the opportunity to cook and taste the cuts demonstrated at the seminar: U.S. pork center-cut loin and riblets, along with U.S. beef ribeye, tri-tip and coulotte.
“This activity goes hand-in-hand with our strategy of informing importers and foodservice professionals of U.S. red meat’s attributes and availability and showing them many ways to utilize our products,” said Rodriguez. “We are confident that those attending the Costa Rica seminars will share this information, and we can continue to build momentum for U.S. pork and beef in Central America.”