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Taste of Italy






(Part Three)

Arguably the most resounding endorsement though has come from Klaus Schaeffer, chef and owner of the Gatakers Bay Restaurant at Hervey Bay.  

Hervey Bay restaurant owner and chef
Klaus Schaeffe says the highest standard
is crucial in his trade, whether dealing
with seafood, poultry or beef.
  Of German origin, Mr. Schaeffer has previously held the positions of executive chef of the Sydney Hilton and executive chef of the Port Douglas Sheraton Mirage before buying his own restaurant with his wife Christa four years ago.
Throughout his 15 years in the Australian restaurant trade he has sourced grass-fed beef solely from King Island - the area synonymous with beef excellence in restaurant circles, he said.  
  But after hearing of the success of the Piedmontese beef from Mark Hobbs, Mr. Schaeffer decided to break tradition and try some.  His first impression was that it tasted "too fresh", so he had the butcher cryovac the beef and then refrigerated it for three weeks.  He now buys his beef solely from Point Vernon Butchery.

Klaus Schaeffer says the finely textured nature
of the Piedmontese cross beef means it is very
tender and at the same time flavoursome.
He prefers to age it for a minimum of three
weeks in refrigerated vacuum packs to extract
the steak's full flavour.

"I don't normally change my beef but the response to this has been fantastic.  I have always considered King Island is the best but I changed (to Piedmontese cross) one day without telling anyone.

"No one noticed.  As long as it is aged (and vacuum packed) for a minimum of three weeks it is a tender, full flavoured product as good as I have had."

  Mr. Rose said the informal marketing alliance had created a valuable outlet for his beef, not necessarily through price but volume and security. While his steers don't necessarily attract a premium, he says benefits are there.

"Because we are selling to a butcher we get about 15kg more weight on our carcase because they leave more of the neck and tail on, and there is the security of knowing we can sell them as we produce them."



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