Chefs experience the taste of Cornwall
A group of chefs from six top quality restaurants joined us recently for a very special Beef and Lamb Educational Seminar.
The two day ‘Taste of Cornwall’ trip took the chefs through the whole supply chain, giving them the opportunity to learn about the exacting standards of the EBLEX Quality Standard scheme at every stage of the production process.
The first stop was Carruan Farm in Polzeath, where the chefs were taken through the lamb cycle from birth to mutton. Farmer Claire Parnell explained how the warm, gentle, Cornish climate, clean air and herb-rich granite pastures help to ensure that her free-range animals produce tender, juicy, flavoursome lamb.
Later, on Botathan Farm in South Petherwin, farmers Keith and Elaine Jasper explained how beef eating quality is determined by carefully selecting the best Suckler herds for breeding.
An abattoir trip followed, where they were shown the importance of minimising stress to the animal prior to the slaughter process, in order to deliver optimum meat quality.
"Seeing is believing," said Simon Smith, sales manager for Aubrey Allen. "We felt it was important to show the chefs how factors such as environment, breed, animal welfare and carcase selection as well as the slaughter process, can all make a difference to the end product. When you see two and a half thousand lambs being processed, you can begin to appreciate the difference in conformation between animals of similar ages and the challenges faced by farmers in meeting the exact carcase grading specification to ensure the best return for their animals."
Matt Cheal, a sous chef from Simpsons, said: "Seeing how hard the farmers work to make sure their cattle are just right was a real insight - it means everything to good restaurants. I would recommend a trip like this to any chef."
To conclude the visit, our head butcher, Bob Spring, presented a number of innovative cuts to the chefs including a 'Mouse of Lamb', 'Lamb Chateaubriand' and 'Lamb Marrowbone Troughs'. Later the chefs were given the opportunity to try some of the cuts, cooking them for themselves on a 'Big Green Egg Barbecue Bus'.
Andi Cruise, a senior sous chef from the Wyndham Grand, said: "I thoroughly enjoyed Bob’s magnificent skill in butchery. I really appreciate the fact that Aubrey Allen is looking outside the box to find better cuts and top quality products."
Her head chef, Kenneth Doy, was impressed by the whole experience. He said: "To see the whole process from field to distribution was amazing and I can personally assure our customers of the quality. The animals are kept in a very good condition and I was amazed by how relaxed they are."
The Fat Duck’s head chef, Jonny Lake, added: "Seeing the farms that Aubrey Allen has chosen to work with makes me confident that we are getting the best we can."
The EBLEX Quality Standard Mark Scheme for beef and lamb provides one of the highest levels of independently inspected quality assurance for meat in the United Kingdom. The standards contain combined guarantees of food safety, animal welfare, care for the environment and enhanced eating quality.