RESTON, Va. – A new day-and-a-half course – Center of the Plate Training II: Cuts to Culinary – is being launched by the North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) The course will be held June 23-24 at Kendall College in Chicago.

The course will demonstrate meat preparation and cooking techniques; answer questions about animal agriculture and animal welfare; explain “natural” and “organic” meat production and labeling; discuss the differences in branded meat programs, and give foodservice professionals insider tips on communicating effectively with customers and chefs.

The new course was developed by NAMP in response to demand from attendees at its Center of the Plate Training I courses, and from industry focus groups that wanted to learn more about these topics.

The course involves the following participants:

• Steve Olson – NAMP’s master meat cutter and COP instructor, former USDA meat marketing specialist and author of USDA’s Institutional Meat Purchasing Specifications, will cover grades, aging, packaging and fabrication techniques, using NAMP’s new Meat Buyer’s Guide.

• Rick Gresh – Executive Chef at David Burke’s Primehouse at The James Hotel, Chicago, he will cover talking to a chef or restaurant operator when making a sales call. He will demonstrate preparations of popular and innovative beef, pork, lamb and veal dishes.

• Chad Ellegood – As wine director, Tru restaurant, Chicago, A Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant, he will cover what people in the meat and foodservice industries need to know on how the meats they buy or sell are enhanced by the right wines, and The Goose Island Beer Company, “Chicago’s Craft Beer” on pairing specialty beers with cooked meats.

• Marty O’Connor – The Chief of USDA AMS Standards, Analysis and Technology Branch (or other AMS representative) will cover the natural and organic movements, and the requirements and differences for various animal-raising claims.

• Dr. Chris Calkins – Nebraska Beef Industry Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska, will cover branded meat programs and types of meat, and how animal production practices affect meat quality.

• Representatives from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the National Pork Board (NPB) and the American Lamb Board (ALB), and other groups will address questions on animal production practices and animal-welfare issues.

• Bill Kurtis – The founder and chairman of Tallgrass Beef, and former television news anchor, is the keynote speaker.

Featured in the course will be a meat tasting and wine and specialty beer pairing reception at The Drake Hotel in Chicago. An outdoor lunch prepared on site by the “Chicago All Fired Up” food truck, Chicago’s first food truck and the only one licensed to prepare food on site, will also be included.

Early course sponsors include The Beef Checkoff, The Pork Checkoff, and The Lamb Checkoff, as well as Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health, Tallgrass Beef, and The Goose Island Beer Company.

For more information or to register,