Meeting a local beef producer, touring a beef farm and going behind the scenes at a local meat processing facility with a master meat crafter isn't the everyday norm for chefs and culinary students in Northeast Wisconsin. Yet for these professionals, recently they followed the "life of a beef tenderloin" from a local beef cattle farm, Cattle Shack Ranch to Maplewood Meats, a state-of-art family owned and operated meat processing facility in Green Bay.
For more than 35 chefs, culinary students and nutritionists the farm and meat processing plant became the classroom during a daylong "pasture to plate" tour of the Wisconsin's beef industry to get the facts from the beef experts.
"I have the greatest appreciation for the people working in the beef industry after the tour," says Tim Rhodes, culinary professional at Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton. "Learning firsthand what it takes to get beef from the farm to plate is an eye opening experience."
The tour brought full circle where beef comes from. Beginning with the care by Wisconsin's 14,000 beef producers raising cattle, consumers can seek out many choices of high quality, wholesome and nutritious beef at local meat markets, grocer's meat cases and restaurants.
During the tour area chefs from The American Club, Kohler; Big Tomatoes, Green Bay; Benvenuto's Italian Grille, Oshkosh; among others and culinary students from Fox Valley Technical College learned how to add value to their menus with new beef cuts in culinary demonstrations. Participants also gained valuable information on modern farming practices, sustainability, nutrition, food safety and culinary techniques.
Attendees participated in a blind beef taste test where Wisconsin's dairy influence offers consumer choices from the many Holstein Dairy Beef Cattle speckling our landscape. The Holstein Beef and Angus beef breeds went head-to-head in a friendly competition and Holstein beef won over the taste buds of chefs.
"Helping connect culinary professionals to a beef producer, master meat crafter and beef educational experts is vital," says John Freitag, executive director of Wisconsin Beef Council. "By showcasing new beef cuts to add value to menus while communicating with foodservice professionals who directly impact consumer's choices strengthens the understanding of beef in today's food chain."
For culinary professionals interested in attending a future "Farm-to-Fork" tour, contact Traci Wilson, RD, CD, director of nutrition at Wisconsin Beef Council firstname.lastname@example.org at 608.833.9944. Chefs and nutritionists can also earn continuing educational credits by attending.
For delicious recipes, grilling tips and ways to fuel up with lean beef, visit www.beeftips.com or call 1-800-728-BEEF today.
Source: Wisconsin Beef Council