An Interview with Shenoa French, Associate Director, Culinary Innovation Center

(September 2012)

Tell me what you do as a member of the Culinary Innovations Team. I manage the daily functions of our Culinary Innovation Center, the facility where our team is able to showcase beef to our industry guests through catered meals and educational sessions. I also work closely with the Beef Innovations Group on research projects and new product development. I spend some time on the road supporting our State Beef Council partners and other Beef Checkoff- funded programs.  I help with beef sampling planning for tradeshows and other food events to showcase beef at its best.  


How long have you worked in the culinary department? I have been part of the culinary team for five and a half years.

Have you always been a beef-lover? Beef has always been a part of our family’s holiday tradition, we usually have a Rib roast for Christmas dinner.  I also grew up with my Dad grilling steaks and burgers all year round.

What was your first truly great beef meal experience?  I don’t think it was my first beef experience but one that is still very memorable to me. It was November and we had a terrible snow storm in Denver and had steaks planned for dinner.  There are photos of my Dad bundled in a down coat, hat and gloves, outside turning steaks on the grill.  The French family is serious about our steak dinners.

At home, what is your favorite way to prepare beef? I love to eat beef fajitas, however, I’m very picky about the bell pepper onion mixture. I usually don’t order them at restaurants.  Instead I grill skirt or flank for fajitas at home. I also love to have beef cooking in a slow cooker for dinner after a long day of playing in the snow.

Do you use rubs and/or marinades? If so, what rubs/marinades do you like to use? I use more rubs then marinades at home, I have an overflowing cabinet of spices and seasonings. One of the reasons that I like cooking better than baking is that you can keep adding seasonings and ingredients until you like the flavor.

When was the last time you ate beef? I had a black and blue burger yesterday in honor of National Cheeseburger day.

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