Wed, 13 Jun 2018
KUWAIT - Attracting major food importers and some of the Middle East’s leading chefs, USMEF hosted a US beef training workshop in Kuwait designed to create interest in alternative beef cuts. The workshop at the Radisson Blu Hotel was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program. USMEF is a contractor for the beef checkoff.
"The training session highlighted the attributes and advantages of US beef for chefs, foodservice operators and importers – people from every aspect of the menu decision-making process," explained Eliane Elia, USMEF representative in the region.
"We told the story of US beef and how to cut and cook a variety of underutilized and high-quality US beef cuts. Chefs at our workshop were on board, agreeing with the importance of applying the right cooking method and technique for each cut in order to make sure consumers enjoy the unique taste of US beef."
The workshop began with an introductory welcome speech and presentation on USMEF’s role and an overview of the US beef industry by Ms Elia and fellow USMEF representative Rasha Awar.
A video emphasizing the inspection, grading, aging and safety of US beef followed, along with a look at US beef cut specifications.
"This section proved to be very interesting to the audience. There were several questions about carcass grading and the marbling of US beef," said Ms Elia. "There was interest in the market situation, too, as participants asked many questions about the availability, pricing and import process for US beef."
David Harnois, executive chef for Radisson Blu in the Middle East and Turkey, shared cooking tips with the audience, focusing on recent lifestyle and food trends in Kuwait. He discussed his company’s restaurants’ menus and how beef dishes are prepared and promoted.
Attendees were treated to a lunch featuring US beef cuts served in a variety of dishes, including mini-burgers, pizza, stir-fry and grilled steaks.
Workshop participant Naif Hamad, group sales manager for Azzad Trading Group, the largest full-line supplier to the hotel, restaurant and catering trade in Kuwait, said that demand for beef in general – and for US beef in particular – is increasing in Kuwait.
While relatively small in volume, US beef exports to Kuwait have achieved significant growth this year. Through April, export volume increased by one-third year-over-year to 1,131 metric tons, while export value was up 26 per cent to just under $10 million.
"The US beef dishes drew praise from workshop attendees, who were impressed with the flavor and juiciness of the meat," said Ms Elia. "This activity reinforced USMEF’s relationship with importers and helped maintain confidence in US beef."