State beef councils from the Midwest had a major presence at the recent Central Region American Culinary Federation Conference near Chicago, IL. Several hundred chefs, culinary educators and industry partners attended the convention to obtain the latest information on new food products and flavor pairings.

At the Culinary Conference trade show the Beef Checkoff team showcased the Boneless Country Style Beef Chuck Ribs and the Denver Cut, the newest of the Beef Value Cuts from the chuck roll developed with Beef Checkoff funding.

A key element of the culinary promotion also included a trade show booth that showcased the "Bahn Mi," an innovative recipe developed with Beef Checkoff dollars. The Beef Bahn Mi (pronounced Buhn Me) is a Vietnamese sandwich that uses the Boneless Country Style Beef Chuck Ribs, mayonnaise, jalapeno peppers, ribbons of carrot and radish, sliced cucumber and onion with cilantro in a sweet sesame oil. The unique sandwich received high compliments from the toughest of the critics at the event. This innovative recipe was created by the Beef Checkoff-funded Culinary Center.

In addition to the trade show booth, the State Beef Councils also facilitated two break-out sessions. The first workshop entitled, Adding Value to your Bottom Line with Beef, offered an interactive cutting demonstration which showed chefs ways to enhance profitability with underutilized cuts of beef. These innovative new beef cuts also offer fresh ideas for creating desirable center of the plate options for today's consumer.

Each participant attending the Adding Value beef workshop received a beef and wine pairing guide in addition to information on consumer trends, beef cutting guides and menu inspirations.

The second workshop focused on increasing the culinary professionals' understanding of the beef supply chain known as the Pasture to Plate concept. A panel of experts, including a cow-calf producer, feedlot operator, veterinarian and a meat distributor, discussed modern beef production methods focusing on the industry's commitment to supplying a safe and wholesome beef product.

"With fewer than two percent of the American population having any sort of farming background, it is important that we participate in these types of events to narrow the disconnect," comments Bob Fortune, President of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.

For more information on how the $1 per-head Beef Checkoff program works with restaurants chefs and culinary educators, click here.