Chefs are famous for telling customers anything but the truth. Her is just one more example of a restaurant stretching the truth. And they get mad when I ask questions about the so-called organic veal they are selling.
Marcus Guiliano is the chef & owner of Aroma Thyme Bistro located in the bountiful Hudson Valley of New York. Chef Guiliano has been an advocate for over 10 years on healthy, sustainable, local & real food. He found his mission in… Continue
I always hear the word natural being used in the meat world. But what
does natural really mean? In my opinion it does not mean much at all. Here I talk about a meat salesman that is abusing the term "natural". I could right through him.… Continue
I always hear the word natural being used in the meat world. But what does natural really mean? In my opinion it does not mean much at all. In fact I get upset when a sales person uses this term. So just recently I had to politely listen to a customer tell me all about his "natural" beef in a box that is mass…
Having spent the better part of my life in NY, Boston, Hartford CT, Burlington VT and other really cold places; moving to the south was an amazing experience. No winter hat or gloves, no scraper for the windshield and year round golf. Life was good and I swore I would never be cold again. As a result of the cold snap, I have felt the urge to continue on my comfort food kick and share some of my recent dishes served.
Yesterday I served Braised Beef Shoulder (blade cut)… Continue
The chart of the week is the weekly number of cattle slaughtered that grade prime. As well documented for the past year, the percentage of cattle grading choice has been trending well above prior year averages. This is due to a couple of factors including the trend of cattle staying on pasture longer and entering feedlots with greater maturity. At times during the past year, the percentage of cattle grading prime has also trended well above prior year averages. Right now is one of those times.… Continue
Added by David Maloni on October 9, 2009 at 3:51am —
The chart of the week is the value of the Australian dollar (versus the US dollar) and the US 90% beef trimmings market. What does one have to do with the other? Good question! First we remember that beef processors utilize trimmings to make various beef products including the ever popular hamburger. Typically, a hamburger processor will mix 90% beef trimmings with a fattier trim, say 50% trimmings, to make their product. In the US, we produce at lot of fattier beef trimmings. So much so that… Continue
The chart of the week is the estimated number of cattle slaughtered that graded prime. Up until roughly 18 months ago, the trend for the percentage of premium graded cattle was downward. But since then there has been an abnormally high percentage of cattle that have graded at least choice. Due to this, choice and prime beef production were notably larger than the prior year during the better part of the winter despite the lower overall beef production. As one can tell from the chart, however,… Continue
Added by David Maloni on July 23, 2009 at 8:58am —
The chart of the week is the year to date change in the number of prime cattle slaughtered in 2009 compared to prior years. As noted in the latest issue of the Weekly Commodity Report, the percentages of cattle grading choice and prime are trending well above average levels for this time of the year. And as written in previous notes, despite the 4% decline so far in overall beef production, our models suggest that prime and choice beef output are somewhere around 3% higher than a year ago. If… Continue
The chart of the week is the Weekly USDA choice boxed beef cutout. The choice beef cutout is an indicator of overall choice beef prices published by the USDA twice a day. The index is relatively seasonal and is a good indicator of upcoming beef price expectations. As one can tell from the chart below, in mid April the choice beef cutout typically begins a sharp upward move to inflated price levels that carry through the Fourth of July holiday. This is due mainly to a seasonal rise demand for… Continue
Added by David Maloni on April 17, 2009 at 4:41am —
The chart of the week is the estimated hog farmer breakeven level and the upcoming hog futures market prices. Hog farmers, like the rest of the protein industry, have struggled with profitability which has led to curbed production levels. Typically when hog farmer profitability is poor like it has been it causes a surge in the breeding herd slaughter (sows) so less piglets are produced leading to a tighter hog supply. The effect is to influence hog prices higher so profitable margins can… Continue
The chart of the week is the change in select and choice cattle slaughter during the first two months of this year. As one can tell, choice and prime cattle slaughter have been notably above prior year levels. Now that may seem surprising to some. After all, through March 15th, the USDA is estimating 2009 cattle slaughter to be 5.5% lower than the previous year. So how can choice and prime cattle slaughter be up 5%? Good question. Roughly 77% of the makeup of total slaughter are steers and… Continue
Added by David Maloni on March 20, 2009 at 6:43am —
The chart of the week is weekly beef, pork and chicken cutout changes versus the 5 year averages. As one can tell from the chart, the major protein markets have been trending well below their 5 year averages for most of 2009. February has been a particularly difficult month for protein prices. As of February 25th, key restaurant protein items 90% beef trimming (10%), choice beef strip (18%), boneless skinless chicken breast (11.5%), and pork belly (8.3%) market prices were well below the same… Continue
Added by David Maloni on February 26, 2009 at 4:00am —
The chart of the week is chicken-feed cost ratio and the boneless skinless chicken breast market. The chart below is busy, but it tells the tale how as boneless skinless chicken breast prices trend, so does chicken producer profitability. And as the chart depicts, both are historically depressed. The producers have made unprecedented cutbacks as of late. During the last 3 weeks, chicken production is estimated to have been 6% plus below year ago levels. This follows various weeks during the end… Continue
Added by David Maloni on February 20, 2009 at 7:26am —
The chart of the week is the January 1 US cattle and calf inventory. Twice a year (Jan and July) the USDA gives us an estimate of the total US cattle herd and various subgroups (not be to confused with the monthly cattle on feed report which just gives us cattle in feedlot numbers). Last Friday, the USDA released their latest total cattle and calf estimate for the US which was 1.6% less than last year and the smallest since 1959. Why is the cattle herd shrinking and what does this mean for beef… Continue
Added by David Maloni on February 5, 2009 at 3:54am —
The chart of the week is 90% beef trimming prices and the US dollar index. As the chart depicts, 90% beef trimming prices have a tendency to trend inversely with the US dollar index meaning when one market is tracking higher, the other usually moves lower. Why does this occur? Because most of the cattle in the US are grain fed, they have a tendency to be fattier and produce mostly 50% trimmings. Thus the US has to import 90% beef trimmings from countries producing leaner grass fed cows. The… Continue
Added by David Maloni on January 23, 2009 at 9:00am —
The chart of the week is weekly beef output. As depicted in the chart below, beef production during the last month or so has been trending appreciably below year ago and 2006 levels. Why is this occurring? Well, principally for two reasons. Earlier this fall beef packers margins were being challenged by deflated beef markets and inflated cattle prices. In an attempt to pressure cattle prices lower and/or influence beef prices higher, beef packers slowed beef output. The slowing and expanding of… Continue
Added by David Maloni on December 4, 2008 at 8:13am —
The chart of the week is the CME block and international cheese markets. The key support level (meaning that the markets have a tendency to stabilize or move higher once they descend to a price point) for CME cheese has been roughly $1.60 per pound for the last 18 months or so. In fact, the CME block and barrel markets have not traded appreciably below $1.60 since April of last year. But as stated in the latest issue of the Weekly Commodity Report, there are growing expectations that the CME… Continue
Added by David Maloni on November 13, 2008 at 10:54am —
The chart of the week is major protein market trends. What kind of influence has the recent financial market turmoil had on the protein markets? As one can tell from the chart below, choice beef, pork and chicken prices have all moved significantly downward since the financial markets debacle intensified in mid September. Why you ask? Demand particularly from the food service sector but also from retail has been sluggish to say the least. Yes the pork and chicken markets are typically declining… Continue
Added by David Maloni on October 24, 2008 at 4:06am —
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