Chefs, execs explore versatility of pork products during symposium

Chefs, execs explore versatility of pork products during symposium

MINNEAPOLIS –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

During the three-day event, which was by invitation only, guests participated in a dish-development workshop and were updated on current dining trends and consumer perceptions of proteins. The meeting was managed and produced by Nation’s Restaurant News and sponsored by Hormel Foodservice. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

The goal of the “interactive educational event” was for attendees to “leave with exciting new ideas, learn about the versatility of pork and to have fun,” said Tom Larranaga, publisher of Nation’s Restaurant News. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

“What is fun is the learning that comes out of it,” added Tom Day, senior vice president of Hormel Foodservice. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

Corporate chefs, purchasers and research and development executives from Beef ‘O’ Brady’s [2], Bravo Development Inc. [3], The Cheesecake Factory [4], Chick-fil-A [5], Consolidated Restaurant Cos., Culver Franchising System Inc., Dave & Buster’s [6], Front Burner Restaurants, McAlister’s and On the Border also attended a Minnesota Twins baseball game and ate at Chambers Kitchen, a Minneapolis restaurant owned by cutting-edge chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

In addition, the guests toured a pork-processing plant and watched as a whole hog was butchered. Hormel’s national sales manager, Chuck Anderson, said during the carcass cutting that the preferred varieties for slowing cooking, especially for pulled pork, are picnic and Boston butt, which comes from the shoulder but is named after the containers where the cut was historically stored. The best value for ribs, according to Anderson, is the St. Louis-style cut. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

Cory Bollum, Hormel’s manager of pork procurement, said he finds the best-tasting pork is generally darkest in color. Bollum said an excess hog supply resulted in “some of the largest kill weeks ever” between Labor Day 2007 and June 2008. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

He credited the large hog supply to better-than-expected results from the newly distributed Circle Virus Vaccine. He also reported that pork exports were up 52 percent between January and April. And Dennis Goettsch, Hormel Foodservice’s vice president of marketing, said feed prices had doubled in the last year. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

Susan DeSimone of DeSimone in Edina, Minn., said in general barbeque is popular and has “strong positive associations,” according to a consumer perceptions study of center of the plate options. Based on the same study of 750 “pork accepters,” she found that younger people between the ages of 18 and 39 “are altogether less interested in meat as a center-of-the-plate item” than restaurant diners between 40 and 65 years old. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

Victor Gielisse, associate vice president of The Culinary Institute of America [7] in Hyde Park, N.Y., said, today’s “consumers are seeking authentic foods and beverages.” He advised corporate chefs to “recreate authentic flavors…that are identifiable.” –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

Culinary trends currently emerging include foods from the Mediterranean, Asia and Latin America, said Gielisse. And he noted that more poached dishes are landing on menus these days. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.

During a cooking session held at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Mendota Heights, Minn., guests and hosts cooked up such dishes as Red Bull Thai curry, grilled Greek Caesar salad with seared lemon-marinated pork tenderloin, Low Country Wellington with smoke-house bacon and Los Cabos braised pork shanks with tequila and cilantro. –Despite higher prices for many proteins, pork prices remain stable, thanks in part to a hog vaccine that worked better than expected and resulted in a bigger-than-projected supply, according to experts gathered at the 3rd annual Center of the Plate Solutions Symposium held here.