Get excited, Melbourne! Wagyu lovers should soon be able to experience a premium type of Japanese beef known as Hida Beef from Gifu Prefecture thanks to an initiative brought about by the prefecture and the cooperation of esteemed chefs Mark Normoyle and Ikuei Arakane.
They spent some time in Gifu Prefecture to inspect their farms, production sites and have discussions with many key people in Gifu’s Hida beef industry. They tasted various cuts and had an insightful experience while they were there. All of this was preparation to start bringing the product to Australian soil.
An exclusive invite-only dinner was held in honour of this wonderful progress at Taxi Kitchen, hosted and organised by Gifu, Mark Normoyle and Taxi Kitchen’s Executive Chef Tony Twitchett. Leading up to the night they prepared canapes, followed by a three-course dinner and dessert.
Attendees of the dinner varied from key people of the meat distribution industry, industry and local butchers, executive chefs from highly esteemed restaurants, celebrity chefs and media alike.
A variety of dishes were served on the night, all featuring Hida beef or products from Gifu Prefecture and gave the guests an opportunity to imagine how they would use Hida beef in their cuisine or market it to their regular customers. The general consensus was that Hida beef was not only exquisite in taste and texture, but could be used in various styles of cuisine and cooking methods.
There were a few variations on canapes one consisting of seared Hida beef eye fillet and spring onion relish on a sesame rice cracker and another was Hida beef style sushi! The star of the first course was Hida beef rump cap. It was dished up with daikon, nashi pear and kimchi salt and paired with Miyamagiku Josen, a sake from Gifu Prefecture.
The second course was a ginger braised Hida beef brisket dumpling, chuck tender with shio broth paired with another sake from Miyamagiku – Hizou Tokubetsu Junmai. The third and final course of Hida beef that followed was a grilled porterhouse with bean and tofu salad, and yakiniku sauce. This dish was served with Daiginjo Yotsuboshi (Funasaka Brewery).
And finally, for dessert, sake ice cream was served with a ginger poached pear and warm hazelnut financier. Campbell’s Classic Ruterglen Topaque was paired with this delicate and delightful dessert.
Although the guests spent quite a lot of their time enjoying Hida beef and networking, they also got the chance to listen to speakers from Gifu Prefecture to learn more about Hida beef, the way in which it’s produced and the love and care that goes into their work. There were also presentations from Mark Normoyle and Tokyo Food’s Sonoka Kasahara.
The presentations were informative and enjoyable, and guests were glad to have the chance to taste their beautiful product ahead of the crowd, network and speak directly with the producers and key people involved in importing and distribution. Overall, everyone left satisfied, well connected and looking forward to the future of Hida beef.