DES MOINES, IOWA — Restaurant chains and corporate chefs are searching for ways to offer the most value and quality for their customers while managing their costs. During the recently held International Corporate Chefs Association (I.C.C.A.) summit in Austin, Texas, the Pork Checkoff presented new ideas on pork value cuts to culinary professionals – and they embraced them, according to the National Pork Board.
"As the talk turned to average price per pound, you could see light bulbs going on," said Kevin Ryan, executive director of the International Corporate Chefs Association, the first organization designed exclusively for corporate chefs from the nation’s largest chains and multi-unit operations. "The creative uses of the product also caught their attention."
The Pork Checkoff, a founding sponsor of the I.C.C.A., sponsored a workshop lead by Stephen Gerike, national foodservice marketing manager, that included pork cut identification and demonstrations of value cuts. Several sample tastings of these products were prepared and served by Kevin Williamson, chef/owner of Ranch 616 in Austin.
"We were able to show the chefs some cuts they hadn’t seen before, as well as practical applications," Mr. Gerike said, who added Mr. Williamson features pork value cuts on his Ranch 616 menu, including smoked pork breast, pork medallions and pork cap steak.