The North American Meat Processors Association (NAMP) opened registration for its 2012 course Center of the Plate Training II: Cuts to Culinary, March 27-28 at Kendall College in downtown Chicago, Ill.

Close to 100 people attended the inaugural course last June at the college, which is an official affiliate of the Glion Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland, ranked in the top three international hospitality management schools in the world.

This year’s course offers new topics of importance to both meat sellers and foodservice buyers. The course will demonstrate meat preparation and cooking techniques, answer questions about animal agriculture and animal welfare, and explain meat product labeling and claims.

Experts will also discuss the various factors that affect meat quality and give foodservice professionals tips on writing specifications and communicating with customers and chefs.

NAMP developed the new course in response to demand from attendees at its Center of the Plate Training I courses, and from industry focus groups that wanted to learn more about these topics.

The course features:

  • Steve Olson, NAMP’s master meat cutter and COP instructor, former USDA Meat Marketing Specialist, and author of USDA’s Institutional Meat Purchasing Specifications (IMPS). He will cover specifications, meat fabrication, and how to use the NAMP Meat Buyer’s Guide®.
  • Rick Gresh, Executive Chef of David Burke’s Primehouse at The James Hotel, Chicago. He will demonstrate preparations of popular and innovative beef, pork, lamb and veal dishes.
  • Dr. Chris Calkins, Nebraska Beef Industry Professor of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska, on the factors that influence meat quality and tenderness, and on answering questions about modern meat production.
  • Evan Goldstein, master sommelier, author, and wine educator, on what people in the meat and foodservice industries need to know about how the meats they buy or sell are enhanced by the right wines.
  • A representative of the Goose Island Beer Company, “Chicago’s Craft Beer,” about pairing specialty beers with cooked meats.
  • Representatives from producer group organizations on animal production, animal welfare, and how modern agriculture is meeting consumer demand for meat products.

The course will feature samplings of the recipes demonstrated during the class, as well as wine & specialty beer tastings. The course also includes an evening reception featuring California wines at BIN 36 restaurant.

Early course sponsors include The Beef Checkoff, The Pork Checkoff, The Lamb Checkoff, Merck, and the Goose Island Beer Company. NAMP’s vision and education partner, Canada Beef, Inc., will participate also. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, or to register, go to

Source: NAMP