At the beginning of April, the beef checkoff hosted a dynamic group of chefs and center-of-the-plate specialists from Performance Foodservice for a one-of-a-kind beef culinary immersion in Charleston, SC. As one of the nation’s leading foodservice distributors, the Performance Foodservice chefs maintain relationships with and influence menus of thousands of independent and national chain restaurants. The day-and-a-half culinary tour of Charleston included visiting some of the most influential restaurants across the city and visiting with the chefs behind those restaurants to gain insight and inspiration for beef on the menu.

To further their culinary inspiration, the chefs observed Bridget Wasser, executive director, meat science technology, cut the Chuck Roll and Top Sirloin to demonstrate some of the underutilized cuts from the carcass. After a series of creative brainstorming to encourage additional beef menu applications, the chefs spent time in the kitchen producing new beef appetizer and entr�e concepts that they shared with the entire group. Ethnic-inspired and citrus flavors dominated the creative results that ranged from steak pinwheels to new steak applications.

“Performance Foodservice’s commitment to our premium beef program is an important part of our business as we work with our restaurant customers across the country,” said John Eccleston, senior director, brand development for Performance Foodservice. “Our relationship with the beef checkoff provides Performance Foodservice with the resources and know-how for us to engage with our own customers to provide value beyond price. The time that our chefs and center-of-the-plate team spent together in Charleston was invaluable for us to look at new ways that beef can continue to be a mainstay with our customers.”

Initial feedback from the immersion experience generated a unanimous rating of “Excellent” from all attendees and how they plan to utilize their learnings to expand beef options with their customers.