The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) partnered recently with an importer/distributor in northern China to introduce new cooking concepts with U.S. beef and pork that are growing in popularity across the southern regions of the country.
With funding from USDA's Agricultural Trade Program and the National Pork Board, USMEF and Beijing Salate Trade Company hosted the Autumn Chef's Table to introduce U.S. beef and pork to local chefs and offer new menu ideas to current and potential foodservice customers.
Yakiniku and Korean barbecue are growing in popularity in many regions of Asia including southern China, where underutilized U.S. cuts are often used on these menus. However, these concepts are not generally well-known in northern China.
"We saw this as an opportunity to introduce U.S. cuts unfamiliar to Beijing chefs," says Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China.
Following a USMEF briefing about U.S. red meat production and the feed inputs that produce high-quality taste and tenderness, a guest chef put on a cutting demonstration using cuts that are excellent for grilling in yakiniku and Korean barbecue restaurants and often used in Shanghai's foodservice sector.
Five cuts were featured – flank, tri-tip, bone-in short ribs, rib finger and pork CT butt – then prepared for sampling and a new concept dinner.
"We are always working to expand the range of U.S. cuts," Liang says. "The event served as a brainstorming session for menu development and the 40 chefs and restaurant owners expressed strong interest in the new cuts and new ideas."