In Egypt, the world's leading destination for U.S. beef variety meat, the U.S. Meat Export Federation recently provided the country's top chefs with a hands-on program demonstrating how to use several U.S. beef muscle cuts, including the shank, ribeye and tenderloin.
Produced in collaboration with the Egyptian Chef Association with funding from the Beef Checkoff Program, the seminar was hosted by the Sunrise Grand Crystal Bay resort in the Red Sea region for 25 chefs from nine five-star Egyptian hotels.
Amr Abd El Gliel, USMEF representative in Egypt, said a draw for the chefs was learning how to use the cuts to maximize profitability, and gather ideas for cost-efficient recipes.
"The goal is to encourage the chefs to incorporate these affordable cuts into their menu by showing how they can be utilized in appetizing dishes that will appeal to their customers," he said.
Special attention was given to the beef shank, which was introduced to the Egyptian market recently, and recipes for it such as meatloaf, hamburgers and meatballs.
All of the participants, who ranged from executive chefs and sous chefs to butcher chefs, joined in demonstrations related to cooking techniques, proper cooking temperatures, safe handling and storage of the meat.
"The chefs appreciated learning the technical background on U.S. beef production practices, USDA inspection, safety standards and grading," Abd El Gliel added.
Last year, the Middle East was the fourth-largest market for U.S. beef by volume with 325 million pounds valued at $276 million, making it the No. 6 value market.
Egypt is the leading country in the region for both U.S. beef muscle cut and variety meat sales, and it is the top buyer of U.S. beef variety meat in the world, USMEF said.