Did you know that Belgium is a very important market for Irish agri-food products like beef, lamb, seafood, snack products, dairy products and beverages? Nothing better than some Irish beef or lamb chops on your plate or barbecue!
Photos Bord Bia unless mentioned otherwise
For a chef, the quality of the product and its traceability are essential. Knowing where an ingredient comes from and the conditions under which it was produced are important. On this basis, Bord Bia (Irish Food Board) decided to set up the Irish Beef Club in May 2004. The aim of this Club is to promote the image and reputation of excellence of Irish beef at the best restaurants located on its key export markets within Europe. The club has so far more than 80 chefs in 8 countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and of course Belgium, all gathered around the major assets of Irish beef.
On the 4thof June 2018 The Irish Beef Club Chefs welcomed Frederik Desmet (Oud Walle) as a new member during a great barbecue centered around Irish beef and lamb in the embassy of Ireland in Uccle. Frederik Desmet from restaurant Oud Walle in Kortrijk, awarded with 3 Forks in the Michelin guide and a score of 14/20 by Gault&Millau, was very happy to be selected as one of the members and “would do his utter best to promote Irish products to the fullest”. Not so difficult as you know that Irish beef has a lot of assets.
Madame l’Ambassadeur d’Irlande en Belgique, Helena Nolan, hands over to Frederik Desmets his membership.
From left to right: Alexandre Masson (Restaurant L’Atomium); Laure Genonceaux (Restaurant Brinz’l); Bernadette Byrne, Responsable Meat Bord Bia; Larbi Ouriaghli (Lola), Stephane Grulois (Restaurant Maxens), Dimitri Marit (Maison Marit), Frederik Desmet (Oud Walle) and Jean Callens (Callens Café).
Small in size, Irish beef is renowned for its docility and resistance to harsh weather conditions, allowing it to be fed naturally on grass almost year-round. Its meat, rich in vitamin A, carotene, conjugated linoleic acids and unsaturated fatty acids due to the way it is grown on the grass, has a unique grain finesse and tenderness. These numerous assets give Irish beef a constant quality all year round, and have allowed it to be selected as official meat at the 2013 Bocuse d’Or by the organizers of this prestigious French culinary competition.
Other chefs cooking the BBQ-evening were Laure Genonceaux (Brinz’l), Stéphane Grulois (Maxens), Jean Callens (Callens Café), Alexandre Masson (Restaurant de l’atomium) and of course Frederik Desmet, new member at the club.
Laure Genonceaux (Brinz’l)
In presence of Madame l’Ambassadeur d’Irlande en Belgique, Helena Nolan (right)
The assets of Irish beef
The specifics of Irish beef and its breeds – Irish Hereford and Irish Angus – have largely focused on catering. They can be enjoyed at the Chefs’ Irish Beef Club as well as at many restaurateurs who particularly appreciate the regularity of its quality and its taste properties.
The Belgian Chef ‘s Club, created at the end of 2009, now has 12 members:
– David Martin (Peace *),
– Rocky Renaud (The Passage *),
– Lionel Rigolet (As at home **),
– Wouter Keersmaekers (De Schone Van Boskoop),
– Geert Van Hecke (De Karmeliet ***),
– Luc Mignon (The Seasonal *),
– Larbi Ouriaghli (Lola),
– Jean Callens (Callens Café),
– Gaetan Colin (Jaloa),
– Roland Debuyst (Orange),
– Dimitri Marit (Marit House *),
– Stéphane Grulois (Maxens).
In presence of Jean Callens (Callens Café) and member of The Irish Beef Club Chefs (left) and David McGowan, publisher from Together Magazine (right). Photo wowtrendmag.com
Irish lamb and beef is much appreciated by Belgian consumers thanks to its taste qualities from traditional breeding. In the world of catering, we find these quality products on the map of many starred restaurants. Available for the public in the following stores: Aldi, Crossroads, Cora, Colruyt, Delhaize, Intermarket, Lidl, Makro, Match, Rob, Renmans
More info Irish Food Board (Board Bia)