At the Culinary Institute of North America, new beef cuts were offered to more than 30 professional chefs to promote beef use and incorporate new cuts into fresh menu ideas.
The two day event, which included beef economics workshops, cooking and cutting demonstrations, and beef sustainability talks, brought together decision makers from leading restaurants, retailers and packers.
Workshop attendees were pleased with the performance of the new beef offerings. Beto Rodarte, Chili's Restaurants Executive Chef, said affordability was important for the new cuts.
"Actually I saw a couple of interesting cuts, like the Denver cut, the ranch steak," Rodarte said. "I think those are very beneficial especially for a concept like Chili's, that we can obviously bring quality product to our customers and at an affordable price."
Scott McGregor, chairman of the Beef Checkoff Food Service Committee, agreed.
"[The chefs are] just excited to have new cuts to put on their menu at different price points," McGregor said. "Beef is number one on [the chef's] menu and we need to keep it there."
Checkoff staff was pleased with the event turnout and has high hopes for its continued effects.
"It's a small investment that will have huge returns, hopefully, for the industry. If we get more items on the menus, that can really help," McGregor said.
Ashley Hughes, director of Beef marketing for the Florida Beef Council, said education and promotion is what the checkoff is all about.
Our whole job is to help promote and educate about beef, and increase beef sales, really get people, consumers and food service alike, to really understand beef in a better way, and this is how it's done," she said.
The workshop was funded from national and local checkoff dollars from Texas, California, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, and Florida.