Located in the Canada Beef office in Calgary, the Centre impresses upon arrival, with an elegant desk and a large board room to its right. We were greeted by Rachel, the coordinator, who explained how they use their board room as both a meeting place and an entertainment place. She taught us about Canada Beef’s role in the industry and how the CBCE fits in. Their main purpose is training and education.
The demonstration and test kitchen area has cameras installed to enable a 360-degree viewing experience. This is where Chef Cameron and Director Mathieu teach and present the culinary opportunities of Canadian beef. We got to try beef chips and jerky. Beef chips are made with rendered beef fat, tapioca flour and spices. They are similar to a pork rind with a crunchier texture. My supervisor Tina Zakowsky described them as “highly addictive”, and History Project Intern Brandy Thaxter named the samples the highlight of the trip.
Kiani Evans, my fellow Archivist this summer, says that her highlight of the tour was “being able to see their chefs in action, from trying out new ways of utilizing cuts to experimenting with different materials in order to help the preservation of meat. I enjoyed learning about their mission and how they help chefs and homes alike find new ways of using beef.”
Cassidy Wise, another summer student working on the Member Service Team, agreed with Kiani, saying “it was exciting to see culinary experts who have the same passion for beef as the producers who labour to grow that beef. As someone who grew up with cattle, it is great to meet other people with passion for the industry who see it from a totally different perspective.” She was especially impressed with butcher Abe van Melle and his enthusiasm for beef even after working in the industry for nearly 50 years. Abe helped design the beef fabrication room. He was working on developing new products in this space when we toured.
I would like to thank the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence for taking the time to give us this wonderful experience. It was a pleasure taking part in this tour, and it is a place I think every beef fan should visit. You can learn more about the Centre on the Canada Beef website at canadabeef.ca/centre-of-excellence
Posted by Patrick Lambros, Archivist