Find out who took out the Darling Downs Beef Battle
Oakey Beef Exports wins tough taste test
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.”
BEEF BATTLE: Pat Gleeson, Steven Jones, Chris Mann, Bruce McConnel and Michael Davidson holding the Beef Battle Champion trophy.