Chefs from the top hotels and resorts throughout Dubai participated in an in-depth, hands-on workshop recently to acquaint them with the benefits and attributes of a variety of U.S. beef cuts, primarily underutilized cuts.
Beef cutting techniques, cooking instruction and even an analysis of the profitability margin possible when using different cuts of U.S. beef were addressed in this comprehensive program targeting Dubai’s HRI (hotel, restaurant, institutional) sector. The program was developed by USMEF with funding from the USDA’s Market Access Program in collaboration with the Office of Agricultural Affairs of the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai as well as the Emirates Culinary Guild.
Chefs from 26 different hotels and restaurants were joined by nine regional U.S. beef suppliers for the comprehensive training session that featured U.S. beef flank, hanging tender, rump, top round, brisket and top sirloin cuts.
The Radisson Blu Hotel in Dubai hosted the event with Uwe Micheel, the hotel’s executive chef and director of kitchens, serving as staff for the event, discussing the technical and culinary aspects of working with the different beef cuts. He also demonstrated cooking techniques for each and reviewed implications for menu profitability of using a variety of cuts.
USMEF representative Bassam Bousaleh opened the session with background information on the quality standards, product safety and variety of U.S. beef cuts available to the participants before they followed chef Micheel’s lead in the preparation of recipes ranging from Grilled Beef, Kufta Kabab, Beef Stew, Dry Beef Chili and Beef Hamburgers.“The participating chefs were very actively engaged in the program, and particularly enjoyed the meat cutting and cooking demonstrations,” said Bousaleh. “The information about marbling, quality standards and profitability attributes of underutilized cuts was very well received.”
USMEF also received requests from participants regarding future workshops, including additional cooking techniques as well as programs on U.S. lamb.
Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is emerging as a leading destination for U.S. beef exports to the region, including beef muscle cuts. In the first 11 months of 2013, the UAE has imported 4,631 metric tons of U.S. beef valued at $50.9 million, an increase of 14 percent in value on 4 percent lower volumes compared to last year. And while the Middle East region has been the leading global destination for U.S. beef variety meat, more than 99 percent of American beef sold to the UAE this year is muscle cuts.
“The UAE is one of the fastest-developing business and tourism hubs in the world and certainly is an area of focus for USMEF,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president of global marketing and communication. “Programs like this one give us the opportunity to introduce a variety of U.S. beef cuts to influential chefs in the region and help them understand how these products will appeal to their customers and grow their business. And adoption by these influential chefs can lead to a trickle-down effect at the retail level.”
Dubai will be one of the stops on USMEF’s upcoming Market Expo that will give U.S. industry leaders a behind-the-scenes view of the red meat industry and USMEF’s involvement in Dubai and Milan, Italy.