PIERRE, SD: South Dakota’s population increases by nearly half a million people during the week of the Sturgis® Motorcycle RallyTM. This influx of consumers from around the world creates a great opportunity for the beef checkoff to help build beef demand. The 2019 Sturgis® Beef Throw Down was a huge success as it aimed to increase demand for beef through encouraging restaurateurs and consumers to engage in the promotion. Beef took center stage at 10 participating restaurants across the Black Hills region. Restaurants prepared signature beef dishes for the contest and offered them to customers throughout RallyTM week. The partnership between the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) and the City of Sturgis® brought Celebrity Chef, Justin Warner to the scene where he worked alongside South Dakota Beef Producers Les Shaw, White Owl, SD; Gary Deering, Hereford, SD; and Eric Sumption, Frederick, SD as official judges of the event. The team traveled from restaurant to restaurant throughout the region to determine a Throw Down Champion.
“In a state where cattle outnumber humans by nearly 5 to 1, the promotion was geared to highlight not only the industry and family ranches but to build demand for beef as it worked alongside our restaurants and highlighted our South Dakota communities throughout the beef tour,” states SDBIC Executive Director, Suzy Geppert. “We are proud to have our beef producers working alongside us as we carry out our beef checkoff promotions.”
Gary Deering, Hereford, SD rancher, shared why he felt the promotion was of value. “Many people believe cattle live in confinement their whole lives and getting out and seeing the wide open space that South Dakota provides, for a home to some four million cattle, shows how cattlemen and women care for not only the cattle they raise, but the resources that are required to keep the cattle industry efficient and alive for generations to come, while providing a healthy product for consumers to enjoy. The Sturgis® Beef Throw Down was not only a great way for RallyTM goers to get out and eat some great tasting beef in the many restaurants that participated, but it was also a great way to get out and see The Black Hills and Badlands as they travel to each of these restaurants,” states Deering.
Entries for the contest ranged from a cheeseburger pizza, to burgers and steak tips as the winning restaurant was announced in a live ceremony on Thursday, August 7, 2019 at Rally Point Stage. Food Network Celebrity Chef Justin Warner stated his job was not easy and the competition was tough!
Alpine Inn from Hill City, SD was deemed the 2019 Sturgis® Beef Throw Down Champion! Chef Clark Braun from the Alpine Inn created a Steak Diane sandwich topping nine other entries from participating restaurants. “The Alpine Inn’s steak Diane sandwich was a delightfully unique interpretation and reinvention of a beef classic. The sauce, typically finished with brandy, was never in competition with the beef itself— it augmented and enhanced the beef to a hyper-craveable level. The beef itself was uniformly cut and so tender that only mushrooms cooked to their silkiest and the bread of the sandwich itself provided textural resistance. Once the sandwich was in my hand and first bite consumed, I didn’t want to put it down,” states Celebrity Chef Justin Warner.
Chef Braun accepted the trophy on behalf of the Alpine Inn and the restaurant will also have the opportunity to send four representatives to Sanford International PGA Tour of Champions event where they will be the official beef representatives as a team in the Pro-Am portion of the event to be held September 18-19, 2019 in Sioux Falls, SD.
Posted: August 20, 2019