Beef Mates program designed to drive versatile Aussie product into international food service

Beef Central, 24/05/2023

Australian beef will take centre stage over the next week as a group of  international chefs converge on Sydney and regional NSW as part of the inaugural Aussie Beef Mates delegation between 28 May and 2 June.

Organised by Meat & Livestock Australia in collaboration with Investment NSW, the delegation will immerse the visitors in the Australian beef industry from paddock-to-plate.

Creative US chef Roy Villacrusis from Las Vegas will be be of the Aussie Beef Mates delegation visiting NSW over the next ten days

During their ‘Aussie Beef Mates’ visit, 16 chefs and food professionals from countries including China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Middle East, Vietnam, United Kingdom and the United States will visit various destinations in NSW. The jam-packed week will include beef property visits plus tours of processing plants and restaurants in the state’s Northern Rivers region, before heading to Sydney to participate in an Australian beef masterclass. Here, they’ll explore topics including butchery, Meat Standards Australia, food safety, integrity systems, and more.

Throughout the week, the Aussie Beef Mates will also share ideas on innovative beef uses and network with stakeholders within the supply chain. Importantly, they will learn from each other as they create beef dishes inspired by regional flavours.

The Beef Mates concept had its origins in MLA’s equivalent, hugely successful Lambassadors program, pioneered in Japan, and since rolled out in other countries.

Chef Roy Villacrusis from Asiatic Culinary Services in the US has been working with MLA for the last decade, learning about Australian grassfed beef and lamb and their versatile applications.

For more than two decades he has led all kinds of operations including the Shibuya for MGM Grand in Las Vegas and his own restaurant, Kubo Asiatic Cuisine in West Palm Beach. Chef Roy is currently based in Las Vegas independently doing restaurant consulting and collab work with other chefs. He is working on opening up a studio in Las Vegas that will also serve as an omakase style bar.

“I am now an official Aussie Beef Mate and am super excited to be part of the delegation for this year’s trip to Australia,” Roy said.

“I can’t wait to have a hands-on experience and learn more about how these amazing animals are cared for and prepared for shipping to our kitchens across the world.

“These products have been a great compliment to my style of cooking (Asiatic Cuisine). I can’t wait to learn more about how Australian beef got to this level of consistency and how the industry will continue to pursue its goal of carbon neutrality in the next few years.”

How the delegation will drive global demand for Australian beef

MLA’s Global Business Manager, Josh Anderson, said Australian beef was enjoyed in over 100 countries around the world and is renowned for being a high quality, sustainable product.

“Through the Aussie Beef Mates program, international chefs and food professionals learn Australian beef’s story and share it with their global network, driving international demand for our premium product,” Mr Anderson said.

“There’s no better way to learn about the industry than by spending time with producers and food professionals that are passionate about Australian beef.

“The program also leverages off the global recognition of Sydney and NSW, helping to shine a spotlight on our agricultural, food production, and trade and investment sectors,” he said.

Following the event, MLA’s International Marketing team will launch several global activations with the Aussie Beef Mates, providing a platform for them to share their experiences and influence within their network to promote Australian beef and NSW produce.

BSW minister for Industry and Trade, Anoulack Chanthivong, said the Aussie Beef Mates program gives the state government a chance to help sell Australia’s world-class products to the world.

“We look forward to supporting this important initiative and highlighting the fantastic beef products that NSW has to offer,” Mr Chanthivong said.


Source: MLA




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