Find out who took out the Dar­ling Downs Beef Bat­tle

Oakey Beef Ex­ports wins tough taste test

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY - CASSANDRA GLOVER [email protected]­ral­weekly.com.au

OAKEY Beef Ex­ports took out the Dar­ling Downs Beef Bat­tle this week with NH Oakey An­gus Re­serve.

Lo­cal brands JBS, Stan­broke, Oakey Beef Ex­ports, Rangers Val­ley, Mort and Co, and John Dee com­peted for the ti­tle and the tro­phy.

There were 150 judges as each par­tic­i­pant at the event judged each piece of beef cooked by Star Group ex­ec­u­tive chef, Steven Jones, with the help of Ge­orge Banks chef, Chris Mann.

Food Lead­ers Aus­tralia hosted the event as a chance to show­case the best of the beef in­dus­try in Toowoomba and the Dar­ling Downs.

“Of course we’re here to judge the Dar­ling Downs Beef Bat­tle Cham­pion and the best beef within the re­gion, but re­ally this is about show­cas­ing our re­gion and what Toowoomba and the Dar­ling Downs does, to the big­gest do­mes­tic op­por­tu­nity that ex­ists in Aus­tralia at the mo­ment,” FLA gen­eral man­ager, Bruce McCon­nel, said.

“The Queens Wharf de­vel­op­ment will bring nearly 90 new restau­rants to south­east Queens­land in an­other four years.

“We want to make sure our sup­pli­ers and our lo­cal brands have to best op­por­tu­nity for grow­ing into that mar­ket.

“That’s what tonight is re­ally about, but let’s make it fun and do a blind taste test­ing com­pe­ti­tion so ev­ery sin­gle par­tic­i­pant here will judge the beef, and at the end of the night, the high­est score wins.”

The stan­dard of beef was kept very close with a max­i­mum of five score mar­bling and 60 day aged, although all breeds were al­lowed, in­clud­ing an­gus and wagyu.

“It’s all sir­loin and it will all be cooked the same by Star Group Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Steven Jones. So it will purely be on the qual­ity of the pro­ces­sor,” Mr McCon­nel said.

“The com­pe­ti­tion is com­ing out, for a light hearted night, they are get­ting com­pet­i­tive which is good to see.”

Ex­ec­u­tive chef Steven Jones said the com­pe­ti­tion was fierce.

“There are some good breed­ers here who have some good prod­ucts. What I’ve seen of the meat, there are some re­ally good names and prod­ucts in there,” he said.

“It’s all go­ing to be cooked to medium, served with the same salts, same gar­nish, so it’s go­ing to let the ac­tual prod­uct speak for it­self.

“It’s all go­ing to be a level play­ing field.

“This is a lo­cal re­gion to Bris­bane, so we want to be avail­able and we want to help them. Whether it’s about de­vel­op­ment or by work­ing with their brands.

“We don’t know what’s in store for us in the fu­ture, but we want to be sure we know about all the good prod­ucts in our lo­cal re­gion.

“Ev­ery good com­pany should al­ways buy lo­cal.

“It’s about green miles, the closer your source a prod­uct the bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment.

“If you’ve got a good prod­uct we should know about it and utilise it.”

It was a very close com­pe­ti­tion, with Oakey Beef win­ning by just 2.5 points.

“It was a great night,” Pat Glee­son from Oakey Beef, said.

“At the end of the day all of that prod­uct there, I couldn’t tell that much of a dif­fer­ence.

“It’s just a true tes­ta­ment to what we do on the Dar­ling Downs. To judge that and get us a re­sult, hon­estly we’re prob­a­bly just lucky, there wasn’t much in it.

“It just shows what we can pro­duce to go into the global mar­ket, ev­ery­thing is con­sis­tent and they’re all beau­ti­ful prod­ucts.”

PHOTO: CASSANDRA GLOVER

BEEF BAT­TLE: Pat Glee­son, Steven Jones, Chris Mann, Bruce McCon­nel and Michael David­son hold­ing the Beef Bat­tle Cham­pion tro­phy.

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