The U.S. Meat Export Federation recently set its sights on a bustling province northwest of the capital of the Philipines for promoting U.S. red meat. Sharing new ideas for serving and selling U.S. pork, beef and lamb in the Philippines, USMEF conducted a red meat application seminar for chefs and restaurant owners in Pampanga. The full-day seminar, which included tasting samples of selected cuts and marketing plans to encourage consumer interest, was funded by the USDA Market Access Program, the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program.
Considered by many to be the culinary capital of the Philippines, Pampanga is three times the size of Singapore and twice the size of Hong Kong. With its rapidly expanding economy, the area is expected to continue its growth and provide future opportunities for food exporters.
“There are a lot of things developing in the region – for example, the Clark International Airport and the Manila Clark Railway – that have many believing that Pampanga has the potential to become a sort of ‘Gateway to Asia’ for tourists,” says Monica Regaspi, USMEF representative in the Philippines. “With this in mind, USMEF has decided to be aggressive and take the opportunity to share information about U.S. pork, beef and lamb with restaurant professionals who work in the growing area.”
The educational sessions were led by Regaspi, USMEF chef Lawrence Char and Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region. Each session was composed of presentations and demonstrations specifically designed to help business owners and importers make purchasing decisions. The sessions were also built to help participants pass on valuable information to customers and clients.
Char presented an overview of the U.S. beef industry, including a detailed explanation of the advantages of grain-fed beef. Regaspi spoke about U.S. pork production, its attributes and its availability in the ASEAN. Yin discussed U.S. lamb, emphasizing its unique flavor, texture and quality.
The seminar also featured cutting and cooking demonstrations by Char. Several cuts of U.S. pork, beef and lamb were featured in the session, including U.S. beef outside skirt, U.S. beef top sirloin and U.S. pork spareribs. A tasting session followed with U.S. beef Texas-style brisket, grilled U.S. beef skirt with chimichurri, U.S. beef top sirloin yakiniku, roasted U.S. pork spareribs with lemon grass, U.S. pork Boston butt char siew and U.S. lamb Sichuan honey-glazed spareribs.
After the tasting session, Regaspi explained USMEF marketing programs and how USMEF helps industry partners introduce and promote U.S. red meat at their businesses.