Stockyard marketing executive Sophie Kennedy with the trophy for Australia's best steak.
Stockyard marketing executive Sophie Kennedy with the trophy for Australia's best steak. Andrea Davy

Darling Downs producers continue with their winning steak

FOOD lovers around the world will get to taste more of the best beef produced in Australia, with news the winner of the best steak competition is expanding its business.

Weighed down with the trophy for the grand champion branded beef best of show, and gold prizes for wagyu class marble score 6+ and open class, Stockyard marketing executive Sophie Kennedy explained Stockyard's feedlots for wagyu and angus cattle, based at Jondaryan, were expanding.

"In the next couple of months, we are expanding our feedlot for both our lines.

"It's reflective of the demands from our customers,” she said.

Being crowned "Australia's best steak” in the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show is a highly sought after prize and Ms Kennedy said there was no one thing that led to their success, but the secret was a cumulation of consistent benchmarks and quality genetics.

"We try and go for consistent size and consistent marbling,” she said.

"We are also using wagyu genetics that are helping with the flavour profiles and texture profiles - I think that has a lot to do with it. And with grain feeding, we are getting that smooth and buttery flavour. All that helps with coming up with a premium product.”

Ms Kennedy said the Hart family, owners of Stockyard, which mostly exports its beef, were ecstatic to win the top gong.

"This is the probably the toughest competition to win out of all the branded beef competitions,” she said.

"This is the one we wanted to win the most, as it's on our home ground in Queensland.”

This is the third consecutive year a Darling Downs producer has won the prestigious best steak prize, with AACo winning twice previously.

Woodward Foods Australia's Dean Loudoun with prizes for the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show's best lamb.
Woodward Foods Australia's Dean Loudoun with prizes for the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show's best lamb. Andrea Davy

Meanwhile, Woodward Foods Australia took out the top honour for its HRW Tasmanian Lamb product.

Woodward Foods Australia's Dean Loughden said winning the award was a testament to all the hard work from the Woodward team - last year the company entered and did not win a single place, but a change in tactics saw it clean up this year.

"When we didn't get a place last year, they asked us where we thought we lost on,” he said.

"We said it was things like colour, so we talked to all our growers and tried to improve.

"We also did some trial runs, cooked it up and tasted it to make sure it was all perfect.”

The awards followed two days of rigorous judging this week, which saw 14 expert judges, including Jake Nicolson from Black Bird Bar and Grill and Glen Barratt from Wild Canary, taste their way through 70 of the nation's finest beef and lamb products in the retail market.

MAJOR WINNERS

Australia's best steak (The John Kilroy Cha Cha Char grand champion branded beef of show)

Stockyard - Class 5 Cat. No. 32 - Stockyard Wagyu Kiwami

Super Butcher Champion MSA graded branded beef of show

JBS Australia - Class 1 Cat. No. 7 - JBS Riverina Angus

Australia's Best Lamb (Super Butcher champion branded lamb of show)

Woodward Foods Australia - Class 7 Cat. No. 52 - HRW Tasmanian Lamb


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