Centre of Excellence pivots to fill resource gap amidst continuing pandemic
The Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence (CBCE) is focused on innovation, training, education and developing culinary expertise relative to utilization of Canadian beef and Canadian Veal. While the Centre facilitates in-person training opportunities for industry and stakeholders, the team also recognized that there was interest in online learning. They began filming videos to demonstrate beef and veal cutting and cooking methods and planned to share these with industry.
“When COVID happened, we were already working on a series of videos,” says Mathieu Paré, Executive Director, CBCE. “We decided this would be a great time to ramp up our video efforts and produce training materials that could help home cooks as well the retail and foodservice industries to support their Canadian beef usage.”
The CBCE has produced 90-plus videos to-date with 60 currently available online and another dozen ready to be launched shortly at cdnbeefperforms.ca/videos. The videos are short (most range between one and two minutes) with the instructions provided in titles over the videos (rather than voiceover) making it easy to follow along. The action moves quickly and features a snappy music soundtrack, making for an engaging viewing experience.
There are four “collections” of videos for two audiences. The Home Chef and Home Butcher videos are geared for the home cook and range from demonstrating how to grill different cuts, cook roasts and tenderize meat to how to “slice and save” larger cuts of beef. The Home Chef series features 18 videos and the Home Butcher includes 18 videos. These videos are timely given the rise in the number of people buying in bulk and cooking at home, many without beef-cooking experience.
“Because we address different audiences with different needs, capabilities and equipment, we change the set to represent the appropriate environment for each group when making the video,” notes Paré. “That means switching out commercial equipment and uniforms used for trade to a homestyle kitchen with more casual apparel, consumer equipment and meal solutions for home cooks. We also change the set and filming ambiance to reflect what would be seen at home.”
There are two industry collections with 19 videos created for the Pro Chef series and 5 videos for the Pro Butcher series. The Pro Chef videos are geared for the foodservice industry and feature topics such as how to maximize different beef cuts on the menu. The Pro Butcher is for the retail industry and demonstrates portion cutting techniques, value-added ideas for ground beef and veal, muscle profiling and other essential skills.
“The foodservice industry is going through a challenging time right now and we wanted to highlight the ways they could keep Canadian beef on the menu profitably,” says Paré . “The videos demonstrate how they can buy one cut of beef and create more than one menu offering—this allows them to simplify their order to reduce costs. The videos also provide insight for foodservice distributors, showing them how they can support their customers,” he adds.
The videos are gaining a widespread positive response from industry and the lines are blurring between the target audiences—it appears that there is crossover interest from both groups for all videos. The site was launched in May and there have been 1444 views to date with 288 videos viewed from beginning to end. The CBCE team is working with Canada Beef’s Communications team to promote the videos on social media and through other communications tools.
“We want to make the videos widely available—they are on the cdnbeefperforms.ca website now and we want partners to know that they can link the videos from their website; we can also build customized videos for partners to promote a specific product for their organization,” says Paré .
CBCE sees the videos as a long term investment and good use of producer dollars. Paré notes, “These videos are designed to be relevant for many years—this collection is a considerable asset with many potential uses. We are excited to share these valuable educational videos with industry partners and Canadians cooking beef at home.”
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