What Happens When 4 Chefs Meet 2 Different Cuts of Grass-Fed Beef

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steak in restaurant

Beef is a center of the plate protein that earns its spot, year after year. According to recent studies by Midan Marketing and Datassential, 52 percent of consumers love—not just like!—beef. What’s been evolving for this uber-popular protein of late is a growing preference for beef with particular indicators of quality, like grass-fed or wagyu. Australia in particular has been filling the gap in U.S. supply chains for these meats, and giving chefs in North America an edge over their competition. 

“In the Midwest, we don’t usually have the chance to celebrate grass-fed cattle as most of the beef we produce is corn finished,” says James Richard, executive chef at Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton in Iowa. "Having access to high quality and consistent grass-fed products opens up a lot of opportunity on the menu.” 

Recently, in order to highlight the special nature of Australian red meat, Aussie Beef co-hosted a contest in partnership with First Hospitality. Chefs from 9 hotel concepts across the United States competed to create and menu an innovative and premium dish showcasing a hand-selected Australian grass-fed beef cut. 

The chefs received four Australian grass-fed beef products from Teys USA to test various dish concepts before deciding on their preferred cut. A blind panel of chef judges ranked each dish based on four criteria: relevance to today’s customer; uniqueness; appetite appeal; creative use of Australian grass-fed beef. 

Here’s a look at the top four dishes from the chef challenge and the inspiration behind each.

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Aussie Beef & Lamb

Chef: James Richard

Title: Executive Chef, Hotel Fort Des Moines, Curio Collection by Hilton (Des Moines, IA)

Meat cut selected: Tey’s Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin

Dish name: Wood Grilled Australian Grass-Fed Filet of Beef

The Dish: “Being born and raised in one of the top beef producing states in the U.S., my love for high quality beef has always been a cornerstone of how I define my cooking style as a chef. I grew up on steak and potatoes in Iowa and want to make sure I can spread that love to anyone who lets me cook for them. 

“When we received our Australian grass-fed tenderloins, we knew our guests were going to be in for a real treat when they tasted this beef filet, slow-cooked over a wood-fired grill. We knew we wanted to highlight the lean, grassy notes of pasture-raised beef and found the best-of-the-best local produce and the world-famous Maytag bleu cheese to help us do that. 

“We took inspiration from the classic Sunday supper club prime rib dinner and gave it a modern and elevated twist to give you a truly unique and one-of-a-kind fine dining experience.”

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Aussie Beef & Lamb

Chef: Mark Grant

Title: Executive Chef, The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar (Columbus, Ohio)

Meat cut selected: Tey’s Grass-Fed Skirt Steak

Dish name: Koji Rubbed Australian Skirt Steak with Purple Potato Hash, Grilled Corn, Roasted Chestnut Mushroom and Smoky Red Chimmichurri

The Dish: “We added koji to intensify the incredible grass-fed Australian beef flavor and paired it with some local, in-season items like chestnut mushrooms and Ohio corn. The smoky flavored chimichurri compliments the grilled beef and hash flavor profile extremely well and my line cooks appreciate a nightly feature that is a one pan pick up.”

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Aussie Beef & Lamb

Chef: Salvatore Cellura

Title: Executive Chef at Hiltons in Toledo, Napa Kitchen + Bar (Dublin, Ohio), and Café 419 & Events

Meat cut selected: Tey’s Grass-Fed Skirt Steak

Dish name: Sweet and Spicy Asian Tacos

The Dish: “The dish is influenced by the flavors of the Pacific Rim which play a major role in Californian cuisine which is the inspiration for Napa restaurant. We purposefully designed a dish with vibrant flavors and excellent textural contrasts while being a quick and easy pick-up for the line. While not an overly complicated dish, the flavors blend nicely together to produce a very tasty dish which can be shared as a starter or filling meal on its own. The "Karen-Chi" a milder non-fermented play on traditional Korean Kimchi offers great flavor, textural and temperature juxtaposition to the saucy skirt steak. The 5 Spice Potato crisps are great on their own but add an exceptional crunch when sprinkled atop the taco!”

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Aussie Beef & Lamb

Chef: Mhammed Bachar

Title: Executive Chef, Hutton Hotel (Nashville, TN)

Meat cut selected: Tey’s Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin

Dish name: Aroma Smoked Grassfed Tenderloin Beef, Polenta Cake, Parsnip, Carrot & Au Jus

The Dish: “Inspired by the farm to table concept that integrates healthy cooking methods with trendy colorful ingredients. Grass-fed meat offers many benefits over conventional grain-fed beef. This dish offers key nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. As travelers and locals alike seek unique health conscious meals, this does it all.”

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Aussie Beef & Lamb

Stay Tuned

The winner of the chef challenge will soon be announced by Aussie Beef in an e-letter sent out to readers of FSR magazine. The real winners, however, appear to be the restaurant guests who got to experience a new world of flavor. 

For more information about menuing Australian beef, visit the Aussie Beef website