English Chefs venture over the Border for a Taste of Scottish Beef

By | Mar 7, 2011

Ten top English chefs got some hands-on experience of Scotch Beef production during a visit to a family-run Perthshire beef and sheep farm.

The chefs, including Chris Galvin who runs three top London eateries with his brother and David Colcombe chef and owner at the acclaimed Opus restaurant in Birmingham, spent an afternoon with the McLaren family at Netherton, near Blackford. The farm visit, along with a butchery demonstration from Aberfoyle-based butcher Jonathan Honeyman and John Webber of the Nick Nairn Cook School, was organised by Quality Meat Scotland.

Willie McLaren and his son William gave their distinguished visitors an insight into their Aberdeen Angus enterprise from new-born calf to pedigree cows, whose genetics are sought after throughout the world. William McLaren also emphasised the importance of good welfare in their management system. “Our cows are housed in straw bedded yards are bred to be able to calf themselves with a minimum of interference from us”

Willie told the group. “Modern breeding technology has allowed us to select for a good amount of marbling with not too much back fat so nothing is left on the plate.Quality assurance has also played a hugely important role in building the reputation of our beef throughout the world. Our beef is quite different from other parts of the world where hormones can be used and welfare is not a priority.

The chefs also met Andy McGowan, head of industry development at QMS, who talked them through the groundbreaking IMEQ meat eating quality projects which are currently under way in Scotland.


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