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USMEF Conducts Middle East Chef Training

Published: Jul 18, 2011
One of the hottest markets for U.S. beef exports was the site for two days of chef training workshops conducted this summer by USMEF with funding from the Beef Checkoff.

The finest hotels and restaurants in Abu Dhabi were represented as 37 chefs, importers and distributors gathered for a hands-on workshop conducted in collaboration with the Emirates Culinary Guild Chapter of Abu Dhabi as well as the Office of Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai.

Guest chef Jay McCarthy, the lead presenter, highlighted the unique quality attributes of U.S. beef while promoting the profitability of using underutilized and undervalued U.S. beef cuts.

“Some of these cuts offer an excellent opportunity to achieve great results in the hospitality industry and among the import/distribution sectors without sacrificing the consistency in quality and the taste and flavor of grain-fed U.S. meat,” said Lina Kanaan, USMEF-Middle East representative.

McCarthy presented a range of U.S. beef cuts that were new to the audience in Abu Dhabi, including sirloin flap, tri tip, top blade, short ribs, flank and brisket. His discussion included muscle profiling, cutting techniques and live cooking demonstrations. Participants learned how to develop a culinary plan to accommodate the new U.S. beef cuts on their menus in a cost-effective way.

The chef led the group through the interactive workshop, educating participants regarding applications for underutilized and undervalued U.S. beef cuts. The group practiced cutting, cooking and presenting those cuts for their own operations.

Among the unique recipes created by the chefs in the workshop were: fajitas’ with top blade, tri-tip wrapped asparagus, pepper-crusted tri-tip steak, top blade carpaccio with rovela and parmesan, coriander-crusted flank with broccoli and peppers, seared tri-tip with oyster mushroom, U.S. beef flank satay, U.S. beef short ribs tartar, U.S. beef flank chopped off with sour cream, and braised short ribs with asparagus and fondant potatoes.

“The chefs and buyers were intrigued by the diversity of cuts that come out of the chuck and sirloin and the innovative culinary applications made possible with those cuts at a low-cost, high-profit margin scale,” said Kanaan.

Workshop participants received a variety of information including fact sheets on the targeted beef cuts; a bilingual brochure, “U.S. Beef: Modern Menu Mainstay” featuring technical information and culinary guidelines in Arabic and English; and a CD containing recipes created by McCarthy.

The recipes include: balsamic mustard seared sirloin with onion confit, Texas BBQ braised short ribs, endu kobbari / senagapappu podi, broiled marinated flank steak – Texican, grilled tri-tip roast with tequila marinade, garlic-rubbed top sirloin medallion “Florentine” medi, sugar-cured U.S. top blade steak with parsley chimichuri and horseradish potatoes, sugar-cured beef tenderloin, basic beef brisket, boneless beef short ribs, horseradish mashed potatoes, and masala and onion pakora.

U.S. beef exports to the Middle East are maintaining a torrid pace through the first five months of 2011. Export volume is up 44 percent over 2010 to 64,712 metric tons (142.7 million pounds) valued at $125.8 million, a 60 percent increase. Exports to the United Arab Emirates have performed particularly well, increasing 52 percent in volume to 4,154 metric tons (9.2 million pounds) and 71 percent in value to $18.9 million.