Butcher Certification Program Broadens U.S. Red Meat Utilization in China

USMEF partnered with a respected culinary center to provide hands-on training and promote underutilized cuts to butchers in processing, retail and foodservice.

Fifty-six meat cutters in processing, retail and foodservice in China are now certified as U.S red meat butchers thanks to a series of training programs developed and implemented by USMEF with FAN Culinary Education in Shanghai. FAN is endorsed by the World Association of Chefs Societies and its founder, Clinton Zhu, is a celebrity chef with more than 20 years of experience with the red meat industry.

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Clinton Zhu, founder of FAN Culinary Eduction, conducted a butcher certification program for meat cutters in China’s processing, retail and foodservice sectors

Participants learned about the U.S. red meat industry’s production and sustainability practices and how they contribute to the superior flavor profile of U.S. pork and beef. Zhu led each of the four training sessions and focused on four cuts – pork CT butt, pork spareribs, U.S. beef chuck roll and beef tri-tip.
Zhu led hands-on cutting demonstrations of each of the four cuts while providing explanations of current and potential applications in popular dishes in China.  In discussing the chuck roll, for example, which is typically used in hot pot meals, Zhu promoted usage of the cut in thinly sliced dishes and in the Japanese/Korean barbecue category.

For the tri-tip, Zhu described American barbecue culture and introduced slow-cooked dishes in which the cut’s distinctive flavor and texture are enhanced.

Zhu also demonstrated new and unique uses for U.S. pork CT butt, which has gained traction in barbecue and hot pot restaurants in China. Zhu promoted the versatility of the cut and led each class through various cooking demonstrations to demonstrate the CT butt’s utilization in dishes within other restaurant categories.

“We saw immediate results from the program,” says USMEF China Director Polly Zhao. “A Shanghai catering company with six outlets created and added new dishes to its menu, using U.S. pork CT butt and spareribs. Also, a Korean barbecue restaurant chain with five outlets added a U.S. pork CT butt item to its menu after finishing the program.”

Zhao adds that USMEF plans to expand the butcher certification program into additional cities in China in 2024, including Beijing and Guangzhou.

Funding for the certification program was provided by the Beef Checkoff Program, the National Pork Board, United Soybean Board and USDA’s Market Access Program.