Pork Steals the Show at Cooking Schools

Taste of Home cooking schools have participants excited about pork.

Published on: Dec 27, 2011

Home cooking is a catalyst that brings people together, and enthusiastic audiences at Taste of Home cooking schools are discovering delectable new pork recipes that are sure to please any palate.

"The Pork Checkoff is excited to be a national sponsor of Taste of Home's Cooking Schools, which attract hundreds of participants who like the down-home style of the recipes," says Dianne Bettin, a pork producer from Truman, Minn., who chairs the Checkoff's Domestic Marketing committee. "Taste of Home Cooking Schools offer a great avenue to inspire home cooks to use pork, help them feel good about feeding it to their families and teach them how to be successful in cooking it properly."

This fall, Taste of Home hosted cooking schools in 120 markets across the country. Two pork dishes (including Roast Pork Tenderloin Sliders with Cranberry Sauce and Pickled Onions) were among the 10 recipes demonstrated at each event. With up to 1,000 people attending each show, the Pork® Be inspiredSM message could potentially be shared with up to 120,000 people, says Laurie Bever, director of consumer marketing for the Pork Checkoff.

"The shows create a lot of buzz and cooking excitement," adds Bever, who notes that attendees received a gift bag including a pork recipe brochure; a cooking show magazine filled with recipes, including 15 pork recipes; a pork cooking chart; and a $1-off coupon for fresh pork. "The great benefit of participating in the Taste of Home Cooking Schools is the ability to engage directly with our consumer target. The people who attend are interested in cooking, look for new ideas and come with a positive attitude to hear more."

Home cooks think pink
Taste of Home's Cooking Schools also offered a perfect opportunity to share new cooking guidelines, which show that pork can be consumed safely when cooked to a lower internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time.

The Pork Checkoff's consumer research has consistently shown that Americans have a tendency to overcook common cuts of pork, says Mary Kelpinski, executive director of Michigan Pork Producers Association (MPPA), which helped sponsor four Taste of Home cooking schools in Michigan this fall. "It's been quite interesting to hear the comments that the Taste of Home chefs made during the shows. They hit our key messages about pork's versatility and the new 145-degree cooking temperature."

To reinforce these messages, representatives from the MPPA visited with consumers at the Michigan shows and handed out samples of grilled, boneless pork chops, along with pork nutrition information.

This ability to reach consumers one-on-one is invaluable, notes Bettin, who is a Taste of Home field editor. "Taste of Home is a trusted source to promote the safety of our product with the new cooking temperature, and their cooking schools offer an effective way to get great pork recipes in home cooks' kitchens."
For more information, contact Laurie Bever, LBever@pork.org, (515) 223-2629.