A training workshop on the uses, benefits, and manipulation of soybean oil, aimed at key influencers within the hotels, restaurants, and institutions (HRI) channel, was carried out in Bogotá, Colombia on April 24. Workshop participants included ambassador chefs from six different Latin American countries: Ignacio Barrios (Peru), Jacqueline Henríquez (Dominican Republic), Oscar Castro (Costa Rica), Eduardo González (Guatemala), Victor Méndez (México), and Ignacio Cajiao (Colombia), as well as Regional Marketing Director - USSEC Americas Nayeli Vilanova and USSEC consultants Pedro González and Jorge Martinez.
Ms. Vilanova opened the workshop by providing an overview of USSEC and its role in Latin America. Mr. González delivered a detailed presentation about the health benefits of consuming soybean oil, while Mr. Martinez talked about the composition, production, and manipulation of soybean oil. After the presentations, the participating chefs asked questions and exchanged their views, experiences, and knowledge. The practical component of the workshop was coordinated by Victor Méndez (chef ambassador for Mexico). He separated the chefs into pairs and assigned them three recipes, which they then prepared using either vegetable oil or soybean oil; this exercise clearly showed the benefits of using soybean oil over other vegetable oils.
The benefits and qualities of soybean oil were further highlighted during individual training sessions, where the chefs had the opportunity to prepare a number of traditional recipes from their countries, using soybean oil. The workshop was a success, as was evidenced by the results of the survey the chefs filled out, in which they reviewed the workshop as “excellent.”
Upon return to their countries of origin, the chefs carried out a similar workshop to 15 of their peers to disseminate the knowledge they learned about soybean oil and its characteristics, uses, and benefits.