Beef livers exported to Kazakhstan have traditionally been utilized in further processing for sausages and paté, but an ongoing campaign by USMEF is encouraging the country’s restaurants and other foodservice businesses to include U.S. beef liver as a main menu item. “Liverpool,” the theme of a recent promotion funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, included a partnership with a restaurant chain, a chef’s competition and a series of educational classes focused on beef liver utilization.
The goal was to introduce foodservice professionals working in Kazakhstan’s hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) sector to the quality attributes and versatility of U.S. beef liver.
“Initially, there was skepticism from some restaurants about putting beef liver on menus, because liver has been viewed as a secondary item,” said Galina Kochubeeva, USMEF representative in the region. “But foodservice companies and restaurants are starting to see the benefits of USMEF efforts to educate consumers. Beef liver dishes are not yet top sellers on menus in the country but there is growing interest by consumers, and chefs and restaurant operators are taking notice.”
The recent “Liverpool” promotion included a partnership with Chechil, a chain of beer-themed restaurants. An a la carte menu was developed featuring U.S. beef liver dishes such as liver shish kababs, fried liver and a plate of cooked liver designed to be shared by a group. The monthlong promotion increased the chain’s U.S. beef liver sales by nearly 50%.
Another component of the U.S. beef liver promotion was a “Chef’s Battle” that pitted 12 participants competing for the “Liverpool Crown.” Each chef was asked to create, prepare and cook two dishes with U.S. beef liver. The chefs competed for prizes and were each given U.S. beef aprons.
U.S. beef liver educational classes led by chef Ivan Gordeev at the Cook Well Culinary Studio in Almaty covered proper handling of frozen beef liver and highlighted various cooking methods. Attendees included professional chefs, food journalists, bloggers and selected consumers.