Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse of Winters, which soon is to open its first Sacramento branch, just won a national award for its savvy marketing of beef. The Buckhorn is being recognized with a Beef Backer Award as the top independent restaurant in the country for promoting beef.
John Pickerel, the Buckhorn's co-owner, indicated to the sponsoring Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board that the honor was the culmination of a program the restaurant started in 2003 to educate servers about the various cuts they serve. The Buckhorn's "cow school," says Pickerel, teaches servers about marbling characteristics, cutting, aging, cooking and other aspects of beef. "The customers truly believe we are steak experts, and leave spreading the word. Our best advertising tool is our knowledge and expertise with beef," Pickerel says.
O'Charley's, based in Nashville, Tenn., got the Beef Backer Award for chain restaurants, while Mortimer's, of Boise, Idaho, got the Beef Backer Award as "innovator of the year" for such dishes as its "beef three ways," for which three types of beef - prime, grassfed and Kobe - are prepared different ways but presented on the same plate.
The awards were presented at a national conclave of cattlemen in Nashville.