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Aussie Meat Trends

Class is in Session

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Butcher ImmersionJohnson & Wales associate instructor TJ Delle Donne MAT, CEC recently hosted True Aussie Beef & Lamb master butcher Doug Piper and Chef Adam Moore to show his class how to break down a lamb carcass and taste what each cut of Aussie lamb brought to the plate. We caught up with him to see how it went; here’s what he had to say:

At JWU, teaching our students about sustainability is a major initiative, and part of that is getting back to the craft of whole animal products and butchery. In the bigger picture, we have to be efficient and not waste anything - especially with proteins.

It was a great opportunity to have Aussie Master Butcher Doug Piper come in, his passion and energy and amazing skills really captured our students’ attention. Especially when he’s kitted out like a knight with his chain mail protective shirt and glove, and with the Aussie accent, they were captivated. 

It was more powerful also because we not only saw a butchery demo on Aussie grassfed beef and lamb but heard the story behind it and then tasted it too, with Chef Adam Moore cooking off each cut as Doug did the breakdown. Eating is a great teaching tool! American students are used to grain-fed and feedlot meats, so they have to learn what these sustainable options taste like.

Much like consumers in general, our students are just learning that making the right food choices means more than just local; we try to impress upon them the importance of quality, consistency and that how something is produced often matters more than simply where

Stanford Aussie Takeover

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 Stanford Event 2

Stanford University’s Residential and Dining Enterprises recently hosted an all-day educational event in conjunction with True Aussie Beef & Lamb. Chefs from campus dining programs both in the area and from as far away as Southern California and Colorado, along with leading corporate dining facilities like Apple and Google, attended. The theme was grassfed meats from Australia, and offered an opportunity to see Stanford R&DE’s award-winning dining program in action, and to learn about the sustainable production practices of Aussie beef and lamb ranchers. We caught up with Executive Director Eric Montell to get his take:

Q: What was your goal in opening up the campus to your peers and area chefs for the Aussie grassfed beef event? 

As the dining program for one of the leading research and academic institutions in the world, we are committed to excellence and sharing our discoveries and experiences with others in the relentless pursuit of delicious and sustainable food.

We are focused on advancing healthier, more sustainable life-long choices for our current students and enjoy partnering with other universities. We also work closely with many corporate dining programs, as this is where our students will soon be dining. Stanford’s culture is one of collaboration, innovation and excellence.

Q: Stanford is known for being a pioneer in healthy and sustainable dining, with a strong local foods program. How did you arrive at grassfed beef from Australia as the right source for you? 

We evaluated a number of sustainable practices, culinary standards, food safety procedures and humane practices before making the decision to switch to beef from Australia. We highly value Australian beef because the cattle are grassfed, humanely raised on pasture, added hormone and antibiotic free, and Halal certified. Additionally, the beef is container shipped to the U.S., which is one of the most sustainable and efficient methods of transporting food. These factors are very important to us and to our students.

Q: From a culinary perspective, what have your chefs learned about cooking grassfed beef, especially in the kind of volumes and wide variety of formats that you serve every day? 

Our chefs have enjoyed testing and cooking with Australian grassfed beef and are very happy with its flavor and culinary profile. We have tested and compared other grassfed meats and Australian beef has had some of the best attributes we have encountered. One characteristic we have learned is that less water seems to be released with Australian beef, allowing it to brown more quickly with minimal shrinkage.

Q: How have your customers responded to the new grassfed beef program? 

Our students are conscious about the food they put into their bodies and how it affects their performance so they are constantly looking for healthier, nutritious and more sustainable food options, such as grassfed beef. Since we have made the switch to Australian beef, our students have been very pleased with not only the quality of the beef we have been serving, but also the creative ways our chefs have incorporated it into the menus.