CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. — The New York Beef Council enticed five culinary schools from across New York State to experience a two day Farm to Fork Beef Tour and Cooking Competition in Canandaigua, NY! This event was made possible through continued support and funding from the South Dakota Beef Council.
Five culinary schools, SUNY Cobleskill, Erie Community College, SUNY Sullivan, Monroe Community College, and Finger Lakes Community College toured Spring Pond Farms in Branchport, NY and Wilson Beef Farm in Canaseraga, NY.
On Day 1, of this two day event, the culinary students toured Spring Pond Farms which is owned and operated by John and Anita Kriese. Students had the opportunity to tour all aspects of the farm, learning about animal care and handling, feed stuffs fed, manure and pasture management, and all aspects of the beef life cycle including birth to finishing. John explained the extensive amount of data and decision making that goes into raising high quality and efficient beef cattle. Students then toured Wilson Beef Farm, processing facility and market, where students were shown how beef is graded and fabricated. Students also had the opportunity to learn more about the aging process, value added beef products, and beef marketing.
On Day 2, students learned some basics of food photography from Jessy, social influencer and creative genius behind the blog The Life Jolie. Students learned quick and dirty tips when it comes to lighting, props, and cropping. The students were even challenged to create their own roast beef sandwich and to capture their best photo using Jessy’s tips. Social media is a useful tool when it comes to food and restaurant marketing and photo worthy food is of an increasing importance to consumers. In the afternoon, all five schools took part in a culinary cook-off. Students were challenged to fabricate the 112a Rib Subprimal in an effort to increase the students’ knowledge of different cuts and prove the increased value, of the Rib Subprimal, for restaurant owners. Students and faculty indeed saw that the fabrication created economic opportunities. When asked how the competition made them think differently about beef on a menu one student noted, “it helped me realize the versatility of beef. It is much more than burgers and steaks.”
The winner of the Culinary Competition was SUNY Cobleskill whose team, led by Chef Instructor Michael Lapi, consisted of Brianna Zabrisky and Chris Merandi. The team utilized the beef rib in two ways, as an appetizer and entrée. The appetizer, Beef Tataki, consisted of ponzu marinated beef, served with orange segments, fresh chilis, radish and scallions. SUNY Cobleskill’s main entrée was a pan roasted ribeye atop vegetable ragu, served with a side of shoestring fries. Each winning student was awarded a $500 scholarship.
This event plays an important role is providing some of the top future culinarians from across the state with the opportunity to learn more about beef from pasture to plate, explained Katherine Brosnan, New York Beef Council Director of Industry Relations & Consumer Promotions, throughout the two days students learned not only about the production of beef, but also the creative and diverse ways beef can be utilized.
–New York Beef Council