Consumer Marketing

May 07, 2024

Behind the Search for the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan

​​After the success of its award-winning streaming television series BBQuest, Texas Beef Council (TBC) set off on an entirely new adventure with their consumer-facing community, Beef Loving Texans – finding the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan. The objective? Maintaining BBQuest’s momentum while uniting beef fans across the Lone Star State by finding a charismatic, talented person who could continue to highlight beef’s versatility, taste, and nutritional value.

“Since launching the Beef Loving Texans brand, our content has truly resonated with target consumers in unique ways,” said Rachel Chou, TBC’s director of consumer marketing. “Our research shows that most say they’d cook and eat more beef if they had more access to versatile recipes and cooking instructions. We knew that choosing an Ultimate Beef Loving Texan as a brand ambassador would provide a new way to get this kind of engaging content in front of that important consumer audience.”

Beef Loving Texans launched a ten-day contest showcasing six rising culinary stars, including pitmasters, chefs, foodies, and home cooks. Houston-based food and lifestyle influencer, Danielle Dubois, and Lytle-based chef and teacher, Johnny Stewart, were selected as finalists for the title of Ultimate Beef Loving Texan. Danielle and Johnny then competed in a showdown – three one-hour cooking competitions where they faced off in front of an expert judging panel, including Food Network star Ali Khan; Hardcore Carnivore, meat expert and BBQuest host, Jess Pryles; and barbecue “rock star,” chef and pitmaster, Miguel Vidal of Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ. 

When the smoke cleared, Chef Johnny Stewart was crowned the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan. In this role, Stewart is serving as a beef ambassador in a twelve-month partnership with Beef Loving Texans . During that time, Stewart will create recipes, make public appearances and generate social media content to engage with audiences across Texas, all while demonstrating new ways to enjoy delicious beef. 

“The Ultimate Beef Loving Texan program is connecting millions of Texans to our brand and encouraging consumers to try more beef meals,” said Chou. “In just a few months, the program has generated 4.5 million video views with more than 400 hours watched and 87,000 website landing page views. The Ultimate Beef Loving Texan program is helping us connect beef with a more diverse audience.”

Wondering how a guy from Lytle ended up as the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan? TBC sat down with Johnny Stewart to learn more about the man behind the title.

Meet the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan, Chef Johnny Stewart

TBC: How did you decide to become a chef back in the day?

Johnny: I was a late bloomer when it came to joining the culinary industry. When I turned 45, I decided to follow my passion and become a chef. I was interested in knowing how to cook the right way, so I started taking cooking classes. I found my passion for teaching by instructing classes at my son’s high school – it was the most fun I’d had in years, and that’s when I decided to begin teaching culinary arts.

TBC: Do you have any roots in the beef industry, other than your culinary experience?

Johnny: I was raised in an agricultural community, and that certainly led me to my love of cooking with beef. I was president of my local FFA (Future Farmers of America) chapter in high school, and that helped develop my love for agricultural leadership and beef cooking.

TBC: Why is beef your protein of choice?

Johnny: I’ve enjoyed beef my entire life, like most Texans. I appreciate its versatility and how it can easily be incorporated into new recipes and different cooking methods.

TBC: Why are you so passionate about cooking for others?

Johnny: Hospitality is my love language. I have a hospitable spirit, and I love seeing people react favorably to my dishes. You know instantly if someone loves your food or not.

TBC: What have you done in the past to advocate for the beef industry? Will that change now that you’ve become the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan?

Johnny: Showing people how to cook beef has always been a passion of mine, and it’s a large part of my personal platform on my YouTube Channel, Texas Style BBQ & Cuisine. As the Ultimate Beef Loving Texan, I’m excited to contribute even more to the beef industry through my recipe videos and partnership with Beef Loving Texans.

TBC: Finally – what’s your favorite beef recipe?

Johnny: Beef Wellington, because it was a more elevated recipe than I usually cook. Give it a try! Don’t be scared, just jump right in. Beef is so versatile, nutritious – and it tastes GREAT.