While it was preaching to the converted, MLA’s Executive Chef Sam Burke and Domestic Market Manager Graeme Yardy still managed to grow the lamb fan base at the inaugural Lambition dinner last Saturday night.
Sam and Graeme took to the stage during the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show event at Bendigo, Victoria, to show the 290 lamb and wool producers two dishes created by MLA to appeal to the foodservice sector.
Also served as part of the dinner, Sam demonstrated a salt and pepper lamb made from thinly sliced lamb rump steaks which is ideal for a bar snack or casual dining.
It was followed by a more formal roast rump cap cooked on stage on a hibachi grill and served with a Middle Eastern inspired salad.
It was topped with Australian LamBacon™ from The Original Australian Lamb Bacon Company – the brainchild of sheep producer Toni Barton who is currently working with MLA Donor Company Producer Innovation Fast-Track to develop smoked lamb products for domestic and international markets.
“These dishes were selected to show producers how we pitch lamb to the foodservice sector. We need to demonstrate that lamb is versatile, suitable for a range of cuisines and occasions and something customers will love,” Graeme said.
“Lamb producers at the dinner were concerned that while lamb is enjoying high prices which they enjoy, it might turn customers away from lamb.
“That is why we explained how MLA works to keep lamb on the domestic plate by showcasing its versatility as a quick mid-week dish right through to choice for special occasions.”
Graeme also took the chance to outline how MLA works directly with influencers and large scale customers to help develop recipe ideas. One such recent meeting was with P&O Cruises, who use 400 tonnes of 100% Australian lamb a year on the six Australia and New Zealand-based ships.
“Firstly, P&O is a great way to showcase Australian produce to the world and we need to work with customers like them to keep lamb interesting with new cuts and techniques for making the most of secondary cuts,” Graeme said.