The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) hosted a team of chefs from Mexico and the Dominican Republic for training sessions in Texas to build and strengthen relationships and demonstrate the profitability of using U.S. pork and beef products. The team's mission, funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP), the Pork Checkoff and the Beef Checkoff Program, included stops in San Antonio and Fredericksburg.
"The chefs are from the HRI sector, so the objective was to show them red meat culinary trends in the U.S. in order to gain their trust in our products," said Julieta Hernandez, USMEF HRI manager in Mexico. "By building this trust and showing the chefs the potential for profits with U.S. pork and beef, we give them an incentive to use these menu concepts in their restaurants."
The chefs participated in a two-day course at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in San Antonio, where a new program has been developed by USMEF and CIA. The program includes a cutting demonstration breaking down a hog carcass and a half-carcass of beef.
Hernandez followed the cutting demonstration by explaining recipe trends for each cut and new menu innovations. She also distributed restaurant solution guidelines for U.S. pork and beef as part of USMEF's educational package.
Educational events continued on a tour of wineries in and around Fredericksburg, where the chefs learned about the relationship between meat and wines and how to get the best results from wine and entr√©e pairings.
"The chefs are key decision-makers from large hotels and restaurants in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, which means they are excellent candidates to serve as U.S. meat ambassadors back home," explained Hernandez.