Thousands of visitors flocked to taste West Country Beef and Lamb at the Exeter Festival of Food and Drink, over the bank holiday weekend (Saturday 29 April – Monday 1 May).
Celebrity chefs – Michelin starred Michael Cains and multi-award winning Dez Turland – turned south-western cuts including lamb loin and beef sirloin into mouth-watering dishes, to inspire more than 850 consumers who watched with bated taste buds.
Hotel chef of the year, Chris Wheeler, said: “Modern and distinctive cuisine celebrates the stunning ingredients our farmers and growers produce. It’s a delight to see West Country beef and lamb being tasted by stand visitors, I hope many will be inspired to go on and cook at home – driving demand for this quality meat on butchers’ counters across the country.”
The stand was organised by Meat South West and took place during Great British Beef Week.
Chair of Meat South West, Robert Venner, said: “Taking part in events like Exeter’s food and drink festival helps to raise the profile of meat born and reared in the West Country. The team did a fantastic job on the stand, helping to open the eyes and ears of big brand retailers to this high-quality home reared produce.
“To qualify as West Country beef and lamb, the meat must be at least 70 per cent grass fed – that brings out a unique flavour which no other area can claim, similar to champagne or wine.”
As well as reaching consumers, farmers and butchers were also inquisitive at the event – asking how they could join or source meat for counters across the country. Farmers, processors and suppliers are able to register with West Country Beef and Lamb online.
Somerset based farmer, Edward Green, adds: “My beef and lamb is born and reared on the edge of the Mendip Hills, I’m proud that West Country Beef and Lamb now has a status which is recognised in a global marketplace. The grassland we have brings out a unique flavour in the meat we carefully produce and that helps to raise the profile of our branded beef and lamb.”
West Country Beef and Lamb was recognised on the European Commission’s Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) list in 2014. Only Beef and lamb from Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall may be included.
More information on Meat South West and West Country Beef and Lamb is available on westcountrybeefandlamb.org.uk.