March 01, 2023

Texas Chefs Rustle Up Delicious Beef at NASCAR Xfinity Series

The Texas Beef Council (TBC) and its talented network of Beef Loving Chefs represented beef at the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300® – the 42nd season-opening race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series in Daytona, Florida, for the third year. This year, Texas chefs were responsible for cultivating the menu that was served to media members and NASCAR drivers. The chefs also participated in local and national interviews on how beef is the protein of choice.

Texas Takeover

TBC had a significant role in this national event with Texas chefs exclusively leading the culinary efforts. By serving more than 700 NASCAR drivers, media members, and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flyover team, these Beef Loving Chefs had their hands full, making beef the star of the show and supporting the national Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand.

Created by TBC in 2018, Beef Loving Chefs is a community of foodservice experts who share a passion for preparing beef. Chefs Patrick Mitchell, Rick Neal, Mark Schneider, and Morris Salerno were present during race week alongside TBC’s Chef Robert Hale, and are all active members of the Beef Loving Chefs program. They attended the Beef Loving Chefs Summit in August 2022, where they learned about the beef lifecycle, beef producers' commitment to sustainability and animal welfare, and how beef industry experts evaluate carcass quality. In addition to being leaders in their craft, these chefs are now advocates for the beef industry and hold essential industry knowledge crucial when executing media interviews.

“My most memorable moment from the event is the love I felt in the room when we were serving dinner to the Thunderbird team and beef producers,” said Chef Rick Neal. “As a team member, I feel that we are all spokespeople for everything beef, and we know how to share our beef stories with everyone.”

Tapping into Texas traditions, the Texas team developed recipes like Porcini and Herb Crusted Center Cut Beef Sirloin with Red Wine Demi Glace to Smoked Wagyu Beef Tallow Biscuits and more. “Having an all-Texas team with some of the highest awarded Texas Chefs amongst us representing Texas flavors and culinary creation is just about priceless,” said Chef Mark Schneider. 

National Beef Promotion

Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner., with the support of The Federation of State Beef Councils, including TBC, had fans of all ages from across the country gathering to tailgate and fire up their grills both at the event and at home.

Throughout the week, race fans had a chance to interact with beef producers, try their hand at roping, and taste some delicious beef at the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. midway tent. Additionally, campers and tailgaters who sported signs showing they were grilling beef were surprised with beef gear, from steak seasoning packets to shirts and bags.

“I find it interesting to see how the NASCAR fan base transcends all generations. Families are there, from grandparents to grandkids. Those younger generations will be living the traditions they watched and learned from the previous generations,” said Chef Patrick Mitchell. “While walking or driving through the infield, I hear these fans ask, ‘what’s for dinner?’ – then they follow it up with ‘Beef – that’s what’s for dinner.’”

For race fans unable to join the tailgate in person, a satellite media tour took the tailgate to them by having numerous TV stations reporting on all the beef happenings during the event. Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. was showcased nationwide through various advertising efforts before and during the race. Ads were also featured on various digital platforms, and billboards could be seen in the Daytona International Airport and along the highway approaching the speedway.

With such a massive buildup to the event, many fans were thrilled when Austin Hill took home the big win for the second year in a row. Following his victory, he was greeted with a buckle and Tomahawk steak prepared by the Beef Loving Chefs team.

TBC and the Beef Loving Chefs team are dedicated to showcasing how beef brings people together through events like the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300®. Click here to learn more about Beef Loving Chefs and other programs.