U.S. lamb riblets, U.S. pork loin shoulder end and U.S. beef top blade muscle were among the cuts introduced to chefs, restaurant owners and importers in the Philippines at a USMEF culinary training camp. Funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program, the two-day workshop was designed to highlight the quality of U.S. red meat and explain market updates and trends.
USMEF is a contractor of the National Pork Board and a subcontractor of the Beef Checkoff.
The training was held in Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City, the Philippines. Three local importers enrolled sales staff and 10 of their most valued U.S. red meat customers.
“It was a very productive camp, as we were able to educate participants about the role of USMEF as an organization, the quality of U.S. red meat and the variety of cuts available in the market,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN region. “We also shared recipes and menu concepts and unique ideas on how to promote the meat products each business sells.”
A meat theory session providing a solid base of knowledge for participants was followed by cutting and cooking demonstrations that allowed them to see the many opportunities that exist for U.S. lamb, pork and beef.
“Not only did the session allow us to get to know the importers and end users of U.S. red meat, but it also offered us a chance to listen to them and gather valuable information, which will be useful for our future marketing plans,” said Yin.
After introducing USMEF Culinary Specialist Lawrence Char and new USMEF Philippine Representative Dave Rentoria, Yin gave an overview of USMEF and how the organization can help promote U.S. red meat in the region.
A discussion on the U.S. beef industry came next and included information on attributes and qualities of U.S. beef, the U.S. beef grading system, comparisons between grain-fed and grass-fed beef and storage and handling of chilled and frozen meat. Before sending the group for lunch, Yin prepared them for cutting and cooking demonstrations by going over U.S. beef cutting specifications and cooking applications.
After lunch, Char led the U.S. beef cutting demonstration and product explanation featuring U.S. beef top blade muscle, heel muscle, rib finger and Certified Angus Beef® prime chuck roll. The cooking demonstration led to tasting samples of heel muscle yakiniku, roasted beef steak and rib finger skewers.
Participants then were given time to make their own creations using U.S. beef cuts – some did so individually, while others worked in teams.
“It was a good bonding session among the chefs, as each of them was able to share ideas for elevating and highlighting the attributes of U.S. beef in their dishes,” said Rentoria. “It was great to observe each of them using different techniques, as some put a lot of different ingredients in their dishes while others used very few.”
The last activity on the first day was the final preparation for grilling. Due to rainy weather, the chefs grilled their U.S. beef in the grilling station at the buffet area of the hotel. Everyone was able to taste each of the chef’s “American barbecue” recipes.
The second day of the camp focused on U.S. pork and lamb. An information session was led by Yin, who shared updates and details on U.S. processed pork and deli meats.
After the discussions, Char led a cutting demonstration featuring U.S. pork Boston butt, pork loin shoulder end and U.S. lamb riblets. These cuts were used to make sautéed sliced pork, pork chops, pork loin shoulder end (Thai style) and lamb Sichuan honey glazed riblets, which were sampled by participants.
In the afternoon session, Yin presented examples of USMEF promotional projects, which gave participants ideas on how to market U.S. red meat in their restaurants. Char shared some useful culinary software programs and website links so the chefs can learn more about U.S. pork, lamb and beef.