Eleven of Shanghai's top female chefs took part in culinary events organized by the U.S. Meat Export Federation to demonstrate the quality and flavor of U.S. pork. Dishes made with shank, tomahawk, tenderloin and CT butt anchored the U.S. pork "Female Chefs Table" dinners conducted on weekends over a two-month period.
The promotional effort was funded by the USDA Market Access Program and the National Pork Board.
Among the chefs who prepared U.S. pork during the series was Jacqueline Qiu, who has a fine dining background and was the first woman to be appointed executive chef at a five-star hotel in Shanghai. Qiu is currently senior manager of food and beverage operations for Hilton Corporation properties in China and Mongolia. Another participating chef was Danyi Gao, co-founder and head chef of Share restaurant in Shanghai and a past Chef of the Year award winner in the city.
"Shanghai has a very dynamic dining scene, with plenty of international and Chinese cuisine, but there is a shortage of female chefs, many of whom have innovative ideas for menu items," says Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China. "That's where this idea for 'pop-up' dinners led by female chefs emerged. We wanted to create and build awareness for U.S. pork while also showcasing female chefs and their individual philosophies regarding ingredients, as well as their approaches to creating a great dining experience for guests."
Hosted by the Gourmet Library in Shanghai, each dinner featured one female chef preparing, cooking and serving a meal for 12 guests in an open kitchen setting. USMEF built each event's guest list to include 10 consumers who described themselves as food lovers and two food journalists or bloggers. U.S. pork importers and distributors were also invited to participate and share their knowledge about U.S. pork.
Among the dishes served were U.S. pork CT butt with hibiscus and smoked chili sauce, tenderloin with lollipop and black corn soup, braised shank with ginger vinegar and chestnut, slow-cooked pork belly with gochujang and Szechuan peppercorn and pork tomahawk Wellington.
Each chef shared some of their favorite U.S. pork cooking methods and recipes. They also provided ideas for barbecue dishes and meals made with U.S. processed pork products such as bacon and hot dogs.