A 16-inch hand saw. (How many people get to say that?) And a smoker.

Diana Clark could have a lot of titles: Event manager. Beef expert. Teacher. No matter where one lands, she knows – and loves – meat, and understands how to share that knowledge, too. Like her partner in The Culinary Center’s Meat Lab, Dr. Phil, Diana is in her happy place when there’s meat to be cut, ground and packaged, and while developing high-impact training for retailers, butchers, distributors and chefs.


What’s your favorite day at work?

Do I have to pick? I love it all – whether it’s breaking down subprimals and exploring new and unique cuts and cutting methods, or developing unique beef sausage blends. One of my favorite things to do is research and development. I love to come up with new uses for traditional cuts – even if it includes throwing it in the grinder.

It’s time for a breakdown. Turning big pieces into little pieces requires knowledge and plenty of practice.

Have you always had a passion for meat and meat cutting?

You might not expect it from someone who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, but I earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During that time, I also worked in the meat lab, participated on the meat judging team and coached meat evaluation teams. I even instructed meat science classes! From there, I worked at Sara Lee, and in quality and safety compliance at Ohio Farms Packing. Today, I continue to teach and mentor students at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute.

A sharp knife, naturally!