CAB® Butchery Training at El Gaucho: Enhancing Expertise in Premium Beef
In August 2023, the El Gaucho team had the privilege of hosting Dr. Diana Clark, a Certified Angus Beef® (CAB) Meat Scientist, at their Seattle location. This collaboration marked a step in advancing the team’s understanding of what sets the beef program at El Gaucho apart. Dr. Clark is a high-impact trainer at CAB headquarters in Wooster, Ohio, and is passionate about imparting her knowledge in butchery, meat packaging, quality, and safety to others.
Tracing Back History
The training began with a retrospective dive into the shared history between the two distinguished brands. In 1996, Paul Mackay founded El Gaucho in Seattle with a vision to partner with a company that could consistently deliver high-quality products, forming the cornerstone of an exceptional dining experience. The journey toward achieving CAB certification demands adherence to stringent criteria, including the distinctive grading for USDA prime which represents the top 3% of all meat produced. The beef must also originate from Angus genetics and cattle aged 30 months or less and display consistent marble content. This meticulous approach is the reason why CAB-certified beef boasts superior taste.
A Legacy of Excellence
Since its inception, El Gaucho has exclusively featured Certified Angus Beef® brand steaks on their menus, and they were the first restaurant to offer this premium beef brand to the Pacific Northwest. El Gaucho takes it a step further by dry-aging the meat for a perfect 28 days, yielding the optimum balance of tenderness and flavor. Finally, the steak is prepared on their one-of-a-kind charcoal grill in an open exhibition style kitchen.
Delving into Butchery
Dr. Clark embarked on a comprehensive breakdown of beef cuts for the team. She meticulously examined each cut, highlighting key attributes to assess – from marbling and size to consistency and color. She also shared fun analogies to look for with the cuts: a ribeye should mirror the profile of a bunny’s side, while a tenderloin is an oak tree.
An important insight she shared is the reminder that there are only two tenderloins per animal, or two chateaubriands per steer, which is why this cut is featured on our menu and is best when shared. She also shared her personal favorite cut, the chuck end of a ribeye, as “the best.”
A Bite of Knowledge
Following an interactive Q&A session that spanned a diverse range of questions, the team was treated to a firsthand taste experience of the cuts Dr. Clark had just covered. Undoubtedly, the 30 team members in attendance emerged with newfound knowledge and an enriched appreciation for the beef program, and further instilled confidence in the beef they are serving to guests each night.