INDONESIA — Sharing information about U.S. red meat products available in Indonesia and educating chefs on ways to improve profits by using new cuts, USMEF, a contractor to the Pork and Beef Checkoffs, conducted a chef training seminar in Singapore.
Funded by the Pork Checkoff and the Beef Checkoff program, the trainings included cooking demonstrations and tastings featuring several U.S. pork and beef dishes.
Employees of Scenia, an Indonesia-based importer, and chefs who work for the company’s clients were chosen to participate in the training.
“Scenia started importing U.S. pork and beef in 2009 and has consistently imported close to 160 tons combined on a monthly basis, so it is a very reliable customer,” said Sabrina Yin, USMEF ASEAN director. “Our goal for the seminar was to give participants a general overview of the U.S. red meat industry and then let them actually taste some of the products prepared using several cooking methods to showcase the versatility of U.S. pork and beef.”
On the first day, Ms Yin focused on U.S. beef, leading discussions on the product’s quality and providing details about the U.S. production system. U.S. beef cuts highlighted in the session were rib fingers, short plate, heel muscle, top blade muscle and bone-in short ribs.
Ms. Yin demonstrated the process of breaking down the various cuts, while USMEF Regional Chef Melvin Ho prepared a lunch incorporating a variety of local flavors by using Asian spices and curries.
“The idea was to encourage participants to utilize U.S. beef when developing their menus,” said Ms. Yin. “This is a way to show decision makers not only what is available in the Indonesian market, but also give them some inspiration on how they can use these cuts to not only make their menus better and more attractive, but also help their businesses be more profitable.”
Several food service topics were discussed, including food hygiene, promotional support and cooking. A retail visit was also part of the seminar, offering the chefs and food buyers a look at the U.S. red meat options available in supermarket meat departments.
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 may 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.