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Shepherd Neame chefs are proving themselves to be a cut above after learning some new skills.
Head development chef Simon Howlett hosted the skills development day at Kent food supplier Brakes, in Ashford, which introduced a new specification guide to improve meat quality and a Ready, Steady, Cook-style competition.
Eleven top Shepherd Neame chefs also saw Simon demonstrate new flavoursome meat cuts proving popular in the US and South America but largely unknown to British diners.
He said: “I demonstrated the flat iron steak, the club steak and picahna steak cuts. The flat iron steak was developed in America and is extremely tender as it comes from the chuck, which is part of the shoulder, in three thin cuts.
“The picahna is highly prized in great beef producing nations such as Brazil and comes from the rump and is also thin-cut, while the club steak is a fore rib cut, popular throughout America and Europe.
“The chefs will now be looking at these new meat cuts and introducing them onto special boards with a view to putting them on their spring menus.”
The skills day, which was arranged by the brewery’s food development team, is likely to become a regular feature.
The competition in which chefs worked with selected ingredients to produce their own dish saw winner was Alistair Lycett of The Sun,
Faversham produce noisette of lamb served on a bed of roasted winter vegetables with pan-friend sweetbreads and veal jus.
The runners-up were Steve Osbourn from the Royal Albion in Broadstairs and Ellina Smith from the Wharf, Dartford.
The day was supported by Andrew Rook of Rook & Son butchers and Hugh Judd of the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX).
Retail purchasing and development manager Graeme Endacott, who oversees the food development team, said: “The skills day – which we hope to stage on a regular basis – was a very good experience and the chefs came away enthused. It was a chance for them to meet and share best practice and also for them to introduce these new meat cuts which consumers in the UK may not have necessarily seen before.
“So customers can expect to try something rather special at many of Shepherd Neame’s pubs and restaurants in the near future.”