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Friday, September 28, 2012

Beef Trends

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm just back from West Virginia where I attended the Certified Angus Beef conference. It was a great opportunity to meet with chefs, talk to butchers and learn more about beef--the trends, the choices and what's on the horizon. When it comes to beef, just like chocolate or wine or coffee, the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn.  First a few common misconceptions, when it comes to beef: Only some beef is grass fed . Actually all beef is grass fed. It's just a question of how it's "finished" Certified Angus Beef is finished on a feed lot and eats grain to bulk up in size and improve marbling of the meat. If you want to buy grass fed, pay attention to how it's finished. Some beef being sold as grass fed is not the same as "grass finished."  Grass fed beef is healthier. I used to think so, but it turns out the evidence is mixed. While grass fed beef does have higher levels of omega-3 f...
Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chefs on Beef

When it comes to beef, the kind of you choose is truly a matter of taste and personal preference. There are different cuts, different preparations and of course different breeds. Me? I care about humane treatment of animals and healthy eating, but first and foremost I want something that tastes really good. And so do chefs. One the last day of the  Certified Angus Beef  conference in West Virginia I got to hang out with chefs at the bucolic Ironside Ranch. It was a great opportunity to eat, talk and learn what cuts and types of beef they serve and sell. I spoke with three outstanding and award-winning chefs--Govind Armstrong who has been involved in a variety of different restaurants including a chain of burger joints, Keoni Chang, a corporate chef with a supermarket from Hawaii, who has a CIA culinary degree and a restaurant background and Matt Hill, a steak house chef who has also worked in fine dining and also has a CIA culinary degree. I learned while they each have their pe...