Key research and development, procurement, and other personnel from Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. participated in a customized Beef 101 program, July 14-17, 2015. The program was sponsored by Standard Meat Company and conducted by the faculty and students of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University. Bloomin’ Brands restaurant concepts include Outback Steakhouse®, Carrabba’s Italian Grill®, Bonefish Grill®, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar.
The participants arrived on campus on Tuesday, July 14th and were treated to an overview of the process of making the award-winning, nationally recognized Texas Aggie Brand Beef Jerky.
That night, the group dined at Kreuz Market in Bryan, Texas and got a chance to have a guided tour of the pits by pit master, Marco Oglesby.
The next day, the participants received an overview of beef harvest and food safety procedures at the Rosenthal Meat Center led by Ray Riley with harvesting procedures performed by center employees and graduate students. Joe Pascal, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, gave an overview of the beef cattle industry, and Rhonda Miller, Professor of Animal Science, discussed beef cattle growth and factors affecting leanness.
The afternoon program consisted of a beef carcass grading systems overview by Dan Hale, and a lecture on beef carcass anatomy by Davey Griffin.
The next day, the participants were assigned to groups and were led in a carcass cutting exercise led by Meat Science Section faculty and graduate students.
At the end of the day, Davey Griffin and Kyle Pfeiffer, Director of Science & Research Development, Standard Meat Company, led a demonstration of the preparation and evaluation of beef value cuts.
The last day, Rhonda Miller led a sensory evaluation that featured discussions on aging, grading feeding, freezing, cooking methods, and grades. The final presentation was led by Davey Griffin who showed the participants the carcass cutout comparisons and the factors that drove yields and values.
The participants departed with a better understanding of beef, where it comes from, what drives value, and what makes it such a demanded product at Bloomin’ Brand restaurants.