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EU Chef Team Visit Designed to Create 'US Beef Ambassadors'

25 September 2018

US - USMEF Representative Yuri Barutkin led a diverse team of European chefs and food company managers on a mission to Colorado to educate them about US beef and encourage them to become "US Beef Ambassadors" in their home countries.

Funding for the weeklong visit, which included training sessions and tours of ranches, restaurants and retail outlets, was provided by Texas Beef and the Beef Checkoff Program. USMEF is a contractor for the Beef Checkoff.

Chef team participants were from Poland, Finland, Germany, Romania, Italy, France, Holland, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Video highlights from the team’s visit can be seen here.

"This was a very important exercise because our goal is to train chefs to be ‘multipliers’ in the European market – we want them to go back to their homeland and talk to their colleagues, their peers and their clients and tell them what they know about US beef," said Mr Barutkin, who manages USMEF activities in the European Union and in Russia and the surrounding region.

"The chefs on this mission were not just any chefs. Most of them already work extensively with US beef and they were selected for this mission in partnership with US beef distributors in various European countries, with a plan going forward that the distributors will use these chefs in future promotions and projects focused on US beef."

Some are chefs from large hotels, while others work as corporate chefs for distributors.

The EU chef team gained hands-on experience with a variety of US beef cuts [Photo: USMEF]

Mr Barutkin said the "US Beef Ambassador" title will be used by the chefs upon their return to Europe as a way of demonstrating their knowledge of US beef and its attributes. These attributes were demonstrated on an educational visit to a northern Colorado cattle ranch and at stops at retail outlets in Denver.

Two separate training sessions conducted by USMEF Chef Jay McCarthy at the Cook Street School of Culinary Arts in Denver gave the chefs new ideas for cooking US beef, while a day-long tour of a half-dozen Denver restaurants inspired the chefs with a variety of menu concepts and presentations.

USMEF Chef Jay McCarthy demonstrates to the EU chef team preparation and seasoning of US beef brisket during a barbecue training session in Denver [Photo: USMEF]

"We learned a lot about beef cuts, things that many of us were not aware of, as well as how to use those cuts on our menus back home – many interesting pieces of information I can share with clients back in Germany," said Timo Schwartz, a meat sommelier with Gourmet Fleisch, a German meat company.

"It was interesting to see the different kinds of restaurants in Denver and how they prepare and present US beef in a variety of ways. The cattle ranch, where we learned about production, was very important, too, because it gave us an opportunity to see how cattle are raised in the US."

Mr McCarthy’s trainings covered barbecue techniques and highlighted underutilized US beef cuts.

TheCattleSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock


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