Visionary Chef Mike Erickson pushes the boundaries with his education in the classroom. His students have won state and national culinary competitions. Inventive filmmaker David Barrow brings educational programming to the forefront after work with the Computer History Museum, Smithsonian, Compass Learning, and the recent release of the independent feature FarmCity, State.

TRUE BEEF will explore the beef industry through the eyes of the culinary students, professional chefs, ag students, and Texans that live and breathe beef each day. The Connally High School Culinary Arts program has made strides the past few years, but this two-year-long program culminates in an MBA now Masters of Beef Advocacy.

This opportunity will showcase the education at Connally High School, demonstrate the level of talent in the culinary world here in Austin, and especially share the past, present and future world of the pinnacle of Texas meat: BEEF. The moving image will not only document, but aid in culinary education, technique and process for schools in Texas and the nation beyond.

Follow the documentary throughout Texas, as the Connally High School Culinary Arts team visits each phase of the Texas Beef Industry, culminating in historical and prescient cooking methods for this valued protein. Starting with the agricultural arts of Texas ranches and stockyards, continuing with livestock shows and feed lots, the students will start to form an idea of where their beef originates. Viewers will learn the art of butchery along with current cooking trends in leading restaurants across Texas. Finally, the aspiring chefs will delve deep into technique in the Connally High School kitchen classroom, concentrating on three main subplots: Beef from Pasture to Plate, the educational journey of the students and how this education helps with long lasting and needed career paths in the agricultural and culinary arts.

The Texas beef industry began after the state’s independence from Mexico. Mexican nationals left their cattle and Texans claimed the cattle. Starting in the 1850s, after using the skins for tallow for years, Texas ranchers began the cattle industry. Texas beef has been revered for its marbling, its flavor, and its tradition.

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