Over the past decade, the demand from customers and markets for Wagyu beef has increased significantly. With the current GCC market being saturated with Australian Wagyu, Chef Middle East aims to cater to the growing demand for the pure-bred Japanese Wagyu.
Japanese Wagyu Beef is an unequalled product as its unique cattle is pure bred and therefore cannot be found anywhere else in the world, this unique export from Kagoshima is one ‘crème de la crème’ type of meat Japan has to offer.
In fact, this premium product has received the highest possible mark from the Japan Meat Grading Association which gives the beef a score based on its yield (A-C) and level of marbling, firmness, colour and overall quality (1-5).
Just like any beef, Wagyu has all sorts of different cuts with their own unique flavours and aromas. Chef Middle East imports all the cuts and currently supplies the UAE and Oman markets, and will soon be launched in Qatar. The most sought-after is the sirloin steak, generally used to make wagyu steak or sukiyaki, a popular Japanese hot pot dish. The meat around the loin boasts a fine marbling which makes it the best cut to savour the distinctive taste of Japanese Wagyu beef. Another great choice is the rib roast, offering a nice balance between marbled and lean meat; this cut is most often used for shabu-shabu, Japanese fondue. Other prime cuts include chuck flap, making for a roast of the highest quality, as well as bottom flap, a small, delicious part of the rib area.
The Kagoshima Wagyu is a versatile product that can be applied to various cuisines; However, the most prominent use remains with the Asian cuisine.
Nader Refaat, looking after the Asian Category at Chef Middle East, said: “The Asian category at Chef Middle East has witnessed lots of changes in the past year. Our primary target for 2020, although it was a globally challenging year, was to diverse our range and expand our offerings. For 2021, our main priority is consistency in supply chain, taking into consideration all the global and regional encounters that the Foodservice market is facing. Our focus is to ensure that we provide the highest quality products and have them available for our customers in the most consistent way. Adding the premium range of Japanese Wagyu beef and other niche Asian products is part of our plan to diversify our portfolio with first-class Asian products.”
The UAE are in a constant state of cultural flux, becoming a hub for various cultures and connections so the penchant for high-end ingredients from around the globe has increased, and so did the demand for a product such as the Japanese Wagyu beef.
Nazar Kitabjian, Chef Middle East Fine Dining Sales Manager, commented: “We strongly believe that there is a market in the UAE for high-end products, customers are looking for ingredients that can help setting them apart from the competition, crafting unique and exquisite menus for their guests. Our community is becoming more aware of the quality of food, with a focus on premium ingredients, and in a multicultural city as Dubai, it is crucial to have an offering that satisfies the most discerning diners”.
“As Parag Khanna stated in his book – The Future is Asian – on how Asianization is the current trend and it is here to stay after a century of Americanization, we can sense the same, everyday, even in our own kitchen. More and more restaurants are using Asian ingredients not only to satisfy the Asian clientele but to create a new profile of dishes that truly sets Dubai as the best destination for culinary explorers in the world.” added Kitabjian.
The immense popularity of pure-bred Wagyu is a great sign; UAE customers have already established a reputation and willingness to pay for high-profile brands just to satisfy their cravings. In fact, according to an article in “The Japan Times”: Japan hopes to double wagyu beef output amid rising overseas demand. The government said it hopes to double the country’s output of wagyu beef, known for its tenderness and marbled fat, to 300,000 tons by fiscal 2035 amid rising overseas demand.
With a constant growth mindset, and a deep understanding of the local landscape, the distributor has sourced the Japanese Wagyu Beef to satiate the beefy appetite of the Middle East. The company has continuously developed its Asian portfolio and carries an extensive range of premium products, this addition will bring in top of the line A5 grade Kagoshima Wagyu Beef with the prime attributes and great consistency that customers, from the fine dining restaurants and hotels, always look for.