Beef Backer Award Winner Excels At Menuing Steak
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Suggested Lead: The Beef Checkoff Program announced the 2009 National Beef Backer Award winners in foodservice…an award given to recognize independent and chain restaurants that set the highest standards in menuing and marketing beef. This year’s national winners included Uncle Ed’s Steakhouse in Grand Island, Neb., in the “Independent Restaurant” category. Owner Ed Sabatka says their entire menu is built on a foundation of layered flavors and balanced seasonings. He also says dedication to beef aging and attention to preparation make their steaks truly exceptional. Their high standards of quality ensure a mouthwatering, exciting and satisfying beef experience for customers. Sabatka is also the chef at Uncle Ed’s.
Sabatka 1: “My product is by design, not happenstance because of my background. And I work the foodservice side of the fence every day, knowing that the people on the other production side are the ones that are supplying my product. I try to give them background information as far as how things are working, on the product that’s working, and so forth. And I just spend a lot of time on the education not only with customers but other people as well. Beef is not just a generic thing, it’s a multitude of cuts, and at our restaurant, we use all of the primal cuts with the exception of the flank.” (37 seconds)
Sabatka has spent more than 30 years in the beef industry, and some say that qualifies him as passionate about what he does. But his childhood enthusiasm that now dictates his profession is cooking, and he shares that talent with customers who visit his restaurant. He also has a weekly cooking show and tells us what he feels is the biggest misconception for consumers about beef.
Sabatka 2: “When people buy beef, I think they think it cooks all the same, and it doesn’t. And so they cook roast just like they want to cook it like a steak. And they don’t realize that some muscles have a lot of connective tissue, and that’s okay because when the connective tissue has optimum time to cook down, it breaks down the collagen and that’s the sweet part of beef. I mean that’s what gives it it’s really good flavor is that collagen and you want that. But it takes very slow cooking so that you don’t dry that product out or break down all of the proteins in the muscle fibers. (32 seconds)
Sabatka was proud to accept the Beef Backer award on behalf of Uncle Ed’s Steakhouse.
Sabatka 3: “Well, personally what it means to me is it’s kind of a culmination of 10-11 years of working in the restaurant industry and thinking that my quest for quality and excellence is there, and that I’m on the right track. I think that’s what it means to me personally. But I think also too is that it validates our process that we’ve been doing, and the quality thing, and I think it puts us right with the best in the country.” (27 seconds)
For more information about the foodservice Beef Backer Award winners, visit www.beeffoodservice.com. For information on other efforts being funded with your beef checkoff investment, visit www.MyBeefCheckoff.com.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.