While at the state fair last week, I attended the 2009 Titanium Chef Beef Competition, sponsored by the South Dakota Beef Checkoff and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council. This second annual contest paired chefs with America’s favorite protein in a challenging event to create a “Sensational Beef Salad.” This event was aimed at getting chefs to expand their horizons when using beef to ultimately increase beef demand and cattle producer profitability. I had a chance to interview the student chef division winner, Kris Lavallee on why he likes cooking with beef, and I was pleased to see his passion and eagerness to utilize America's favorite protein in his meal creations!
In a time where profit margins are pretty thin, it’s increasingly important for the Beef Checkoff Program to stretch dollars to work to increase beef demand and producer profitability. At the South Dakota State Fair, beef promoters were hard at work with that goal in mind. Along with the Titanium event, consumers could attend the Grillin’ & Chillin’ with Beef & Wine event at the Wine Pavilion, the First Annual State Fair Amateur Beef Cook-Off and the BBQ People’s Choice Cook-off.
It was definitely a fair to celebrate the power of protein in the land of lean beef, and consumers had several opportunities to taste beef in its many forms. Without a doubt, these events were Checkoff dollars well spent. At the end of the day, beef still has a place at the center of the dinner plate and the hearts of Americans.
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: You don't have to be a chef to enjoy preparing new, fun beef recipes. Try this tailgating favorite, Taco Beef Nuggets with Tejano Dipping Sauce.