Educating chefs, foodservice managers and consumers about the attributes and advantages of U.S. beef, USMEF conducted a series of seminars and tastings at restaurants in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Promoted as the “Texas Beef Festival,” the events were funded by the Texas Beef Council.
USMEF kicked off the Texas Beef Festival in two restaurants owned by the Synergy restaurant group in Odessa, Ukraine.
“Roastery is one of their restaurants known for its meat selection – it has an aging room and many meat items on its menu – and it is home to chef Ruslan Potapov, who is quite familiar with U.S. beef,” said Galina Kochubeeva, USMEF representative in the region. “Chef Potapov has been aging U.S. bone-in ribeye for quite a while and has attracted many customers with his methods. Having him explain why U.S. beef provides a better flavor and his ability to show different ways to prepare and serve it proved valuable at the two Odessa restaurants.”
More than 80 people attended the event at Roastery, while about 100 people attended a similar event at a second Ukrainian restaurant, Sabaneev Gourmet Garden.
The Texas Beef Festival then moved to the Buffalo Steakhouse and two other restaurants owned by the Ginza Group in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. Chef Dmitry Vasiliyev, who formerly worked as a chef in the U.S., shared his experiences with U.S. beef. Vasiliyev conducted cutting and cooking demonstrations and presented Texas-style beef dishes for Kazakhstan’s hotel, restaurant and institutional (HRI) professionals at Barmaglot Grill & Bar.
About 40 chefs and other representatives attended the trainings, including executive chefs from Radisson Blu Atyrau and the Marriott hotels. Tasting samples of U.S. beef chuck roll, New York strip, brisket, short ribs, short plate, top sirloin butt cap and top blade were offered to those who attended the session.
At Ginza, a high-end restaurant in Atyrau, U.S. beef was introduced to the restaurant’s key customers as part of the Texas Beef festival.
“The dinner turned into a discussion, with customers asking a lot of questions about U.S. beef in the Kazakhstan market and where they could find it,” said Kochubeeva. “Many of the dinner guests were frequent travelers who were familiar with U.S. steaks. They were interested in seeing more U.S. beef in the country, and that is very good news.”
The final stop for the Texas Beef Festival was at The Chef, a popular restaurant in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. About 300 guests gathered in the open terrace of the restaurant to learn more about U.S. beef and to taste dishes created by Russian chef Dmitry Pozdnyakov.
Pozdnyakov educated consumers on the high quality of U.S. beef and the key attributes that set it apart from competitors, including Australian and Brazilian grass-fed beef. Tasting samples followed, with Pozdnyakov sharing some of his favorite beef dishes.