U.S. consumer food choices are often sparked by creative chefs many years before they become mainstream. Examples are ethnic flavor fusion, local foods and sustainable options. Getting US lamb in favor with the right chefs is a cornerstone foodservice marketing strategy of your checkoff promotion program for both current and future industry benefit.
The American Lamb Board (ALB) is increasing its efforts among forefront chefs to showcase American lamb and create a preference versus imported choices. Of the tactics used by ALB, one of the most effective is to host chefs on US sheep farms and ranches. Tours give chefs first-hand proof of how much care goes into raising US lamb and how passionate our American farmers and ranchers are about producing the highest quality meat in a sustainable manner.
Last week, ALB hosted an event at Lighting Ridge Farm near Sherborn, MA. More than 50 chefs representing at least 30 New England restaurants attended the field trip. Nancy Miniter of Lightning Ridge Farm was the host, which included an engaging tour of her farm followed by interactive American Lamb educational demonstrations and a barbecue lunch.
Inspirational sessions featured a lamb charcuterie techniques and open-fire grilling presentations. A popular demonstration focused on the economics of whole animal butchery led by Ben Lloyd of Salted Slate in Boston. He focused on ways that chefs can maximize profits by utilizing whole lamb carcasses at their restaurants.
To watch video clips from the day-long event taken by David Dadekian of EatDrinkRI on this Instagram post.