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European chefs become U.S. beef advocates

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A United States meat industry proponent is asking international chefs to take a unique stance.

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently hosted a group of European chefs in Denver, CO. The group attended cutting and cooking seminars, visited retail outlets and restaurants, and witnessed United States beef production firsthand.

Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the European Union, says the educational program provided the chefs a better understanding of United States beef. He adds the information obtained throughout the course also set them up to be better advocates for U.S. beef.

“We want them to go back to their homelands, talk to their colleagues, peers, and clients and tell them what they know about U.S. beef,” Barutkin said. “Since we want those people to be U.S. beef ambassadors in Europe, we want to show them the whole process of what makes U.S. beef special, the particular attributes to U.S. and why it’s different to beef of other origin.”

Participants attended two, separate training sessions, hosted by chef Jay McCarthy. McCarthy outlined different ways to prepare U.S. beef, as well as different dishes. Barutkin says the training sessions were a valuable experience, as European end users pay a hefty fee for delicate U.S. meats.

“U.S. beef is not just about tenderloin and strip loin. There are other alternative cuts available,” Barutkin said. “With a bit of knowledge and expertise, you can make fantastic steaks at lower value. I think it’s important for Europe because they pay high dollar for U.S. beef. It is a very expensive product in Europe,” Barutkin said.

Barutkin talks about the importance of educating individuals on United States beef production.

“I think it’s important because U.S. beef has a story to tell,” Barutkin says. “To learn the signs behind U.S. beef (and) about the process of producing U.S. beef. We’re also going to a farm that produces cattle for the European Union. Basically, we’re trying to push the knowledge on them, so they can absorb as much knowledge as possible.”