chef team

Japanese Chef Trade Team Visit Rural Minnesota Farms

From Minnesota farms to Japanese cuisine, U.S. agricultural products are making their way into overseas hotels. Five chefs from the Japanese Prince hotel chain made their way to rural Minnesota this week to learn more about soybeans, corn, pork and beef.

Three of the participants won this trip to the United States by winning a recipe contest. More than 300 chefs competed for a chance to learn about the U.S. meat in their Japanese kitchen.

“Hosting the Japanese chef trade team allows us to show them our farm, products and how we care for our land and resources,” said Bruce Schmoll, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA) director and one of the farmers who hosted the team. “These chefs have never had a chance to be on an American farm.”

The team visited several companies, including JBS Swift in Worthington, Minn., PM Beef in Windom, Minn., Protein Sources near Mapleton, Minn., and Bakken’s Feedlot by the South Dakota border. Three Minnesota Soybean directors also hosted the team on their farms. Along with Schmoll, Matt Widboom from Worthington, Minn., and Chris Hill from Brewster, Minn., met with the team.

“Good quality corn and soybeans makes for a superior meat product,” said Takemichi Yamashoji, Senior Marketing Director at the United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF). “Chefs are the end users of products. This trip allows them to see where it came from.”

The chef team is currently finishing their week in Minnesota by touring the Famous Dave’s Kitchen in Minneapolis. Charlie Torgerson from Famous Dave’s and Chef Tim McCarty of the Mayo Foundation House will be spending time with the team, teaching various cooking techniques.

The trade team’s visit to Minnesota was made possible by the MSR&PC and the soybean checkoff.