A dining experience on Saturday evening at an expensive restaurant in mid Gloucestershire
Steak description - ‘Herefordshire beef’
"Is that Hereford breed or from Herefordshire?"
"It's from Herefordshire as ‘we like to limit carbon footprint’" said front of house.
'It's from xxxx butchers in [market town in Gloucestershire]' said another, "They told us it is local"
To the diner, who knows his meat, it was obviously imported 'boxed steak' (very tender, a watery bloody wash oozing out of it - ie very tenderised, like a cheap chicken). These steaks account for over 50% fo steaks sold in catering, and are bought in from Australia, South America and Africa. Butchers will take calls most days from meat traders offering boxes of these. They are substanitally less expensive than home grown steaks due to how the beef is rearerd.
High end hotels and restaurants need to be absolutely sure of provenance to put such claims on menu - and at such prices. The onus must be with the restaurant to feel able to prove provenance if challenged (as it is with a retailer and their labelling). A menu is no different, and too often they cannot. If they put provenance at the heart of the dining experience, when it comes to meat they should be able to #namethefarm or farms with confidence.
Happerley is now working with restaurants to validate their supply chains so they can deliver the journey of their food to their diners with confidence.