Culinary students learn about beef, thanks to checkoff support

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Farm Forum

PIERRE — The South Dakota Beef Industry Council, utilizing beef checkoff dollars in partnership with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI) is beefing up the classroom for the third season of educational courses offered to post-secondary culinary students in the Northeast region of the United States.

A total of 10 culinary schools and community colleges submitted a grant application for 13 culinary classes. A total of 522 culinary students are signed up to participate in the 2015 program, potentially making this the largest student participation in the program to date.

“The Beef in the Classroom program supports the purchase of educational materials and fresh beef and veal to be used in cooking and cutting demonstrations in class,” said Christie Brown, NEBPI director of promotions. “Pre- and post-course surveys will gather useful information to asses an increase in student knowledge and comfort level of cutting and cooking beef as well as their overall perception of beef. The program will run from January until June of 2015.”

Students will receive foodservice beef cut chart handouts, as well as posters detailing beef cuts primarily seen in foodservice channels. The students are familiarized with the www.BeefFoodservice.com website that houses a wealth of content related to training programs, recipes, nutritional information, cutting guides and videos.

“Culinary students in post-secondary schools have chosen their career path to be in the field of culinary arts,” said Brown. “They are the emerging generation of chef instructors, executive chefs and restaurant operators. Their exposure to beef in the classroom for both fabricating and cooking purposes is generally very limited due to cost constraints. The grants provided to culinary schools enables them to work with beef in a way that highlights the various attributes of the muscles, the flavor profile and importance of utilizing a variety of the cuts on the beef carcass. We encourage the instructors to dial in on lessons featuring the under-utilized cuts in the chuck and the round as well as alternative ways to menu the middle meats.”

The grant allows chef instructors to have fresh beef and veal in their classrooms, enabling them to teach future chefs how to fabricate beef in-house in order to menu a wider variety of beef cuts.

“The instructors are seeing the value in appreciating cuts from the entire carcass, not just ground beef and the common steak cuts,” said Brown. “These beef grants enable them to purchase subprimals rather than portioned cuts so that they can demonstrate the entire process of fabricating, properly utilizing trim, fat and bones, as well as proper cooking methods, pairings and plating. The students who participate in the program show continual improvements in their knowledge of beef, comfort-level cooking beef and their likeliness to cook and prepare it for their own families. In general, they come away from the program with a much greater appreciation for the many cuts from the beef carcass, the importance of utilizing everything to its fullest potential and the amazing value and versatility beef has to offer.”

For more information on various beef promotions, check out www.NEBPI.org or www.sdbeef.org.