Strengthening its relationship with a key importer while working to increase sales of U.S. pork and beef in Cambodia, USMEF hosted a U.S. meat culinary program for a team of chefs considered to be leaders in their country’s foodservice industry. The program, designed for customers of Auskhmer Import and Export Co. and held in Singapore, was funded by the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program.
According to Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region, the primary goal was to demonstrate the versatility of U.S. pork and beef to spur interest among key decision makers in the Cambodian market.
“We have been working with Auskhmer since 2012 and while the company mainly sells Australian beef in Cambodia, it has been importing more U.S. red meat,” explained Yin. “This is the first time Auskhmer brought a chef team to Singapore, and it was made up of potential U.S. pork and beef customers from well-established restaurants and hotels.”
The two-day program included a general overview of the U.S. red meat industry and opportunities to taste a variety of cuts prepared with different cooking methods. A hands-on session gave the chefs a chance to marinate and cook cuts of U.S. pork and beef.
On Day One, USMEF Culinary Assistant Lawrence Char gave an overview of the U.S. pork industry, focusing on production practices and the advantages of U.S. pork over competitors’ products. A video presentation featured “U.S. Pork-Production and Harvest – a Commitment to Excellence” and “NPB-PORK – One Cut at a Time.” Char also covered topics related to food safety.
U.S. pork belly, jowl and St. Louis-style spareribs were the highlights of a cutting and cooking demonstration and then served for lunch.
After lunch, Samuel Lam, USMEF marketing and communications assistant, shared relevant websites to help participating chefs with menu planning. Lam then gave examples of software programs that help manage portions and control costs. Each participant was given U.S. pork jowl during the hands-on session to give them a better understanding of the cut and how to prepare with marinade. Yin presented a module titled “Menu Development and Engineering” to give the team of chefs insights into attracting and maintaining customers.
To wrap up the first day, the team took a retail trip to Swiss Butchery, a Singapore-based company that imports U.S. red meat, where chefs saw how U.S pork and beef are merchandised in Singapore. Dinner was served at Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill, an American-style steakhouse serving U.S. pork chops and U.S. beef striploin.
The second day of training was focused on U.S. beef with comparisons to competing products. U.S. beef outside skirt, chuck short rib, heel muscle and short plate were the cuts in a cutting and cooking demonstration.
After lunch, Yin shared ideas about how to promote U.S. pork and beef. The program concluded with participants cooking the pork jowl they had marinated the previous day.