July 10, 2013

Food Blogger Event a Grand Slam Home Run for U.S. Beef and Pork

Food bloggers rushed the stage, cameras in hand, to take photos of dishes featuring U.S. pork and beef.
Food TV star Rika Yukimasa shows off the dish.

TOKYO, JAPAN (Wednesday, July 9)—A tremendous USMEF-sponsored event today.  Some 40 food bloggers from across Japan met with the full American beef and pork teams for lunch.   Phil Seng, president and CEO of USMEF, said the bloggers represented the "fresh voice of the consumer"—and it was important that they learn about the value of American pork and beef and how to help Japanese consumers learn how to enjoy it to the fullest.
Japanese TV star Rika Yukimasa shares
tips on preparing American beef & pork
with Japanese food bloggers.

Rika Yukimasa, a charismatic up and coming "foodie" television star and mother of two, gave a fabulous presentation on preparing American beef and pork.  Her English was impeccable thanks to five years in the U.S. attending Cal Berkeley.  She switched easily between two languages as she extolled the virtues of U.S. beef and pork—and showed how to properly season and cook these premier American products.

She noted that Japanese tend to slice meat very thin and then cook it.  American beef and pork require a different preparation method to take full advantage of the robust flavor and tenderness—so she showed the foodies in the audience how to best prepare these products, with an emphasis on slow cooking and thin-slicing the product after it is cooked, rather than before, which is the traditional Japanese method.

As each prepared final dish came out of the oven, the bloggers (primarily female) rushed the stage with cameras to take dozens of photos.  It was a frenzy repeated each time a new dish was finished.

Samples of all dishes were served as lunch to all in attendance—and the American producers in the audience took the opportunity to share photos of their family farms and converse as well as they could about the quality of American red meat.  It was a great and rare opportunity for influential Japanese social media leaders to put a face on American beef and pork.
Nebraska Corn Board member Tim Scheer (left) talks with
food bloggers during today's lunch event.

USMEF will monitor the Japanese foodie blogosphere following today's home run event. The bottom line is that dozens of food writers went home satisfied and better informed about American beef and pork.

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