With Irish exports to the UAE showing a steady rise of 9% in 2020, the Irish state agency and food board, Bord Bia marked St. Patrick’s day yesterday by reinvigorating the UAE chapter of the exclusive Chefs’ Irish Beef Club (CIBC), inaugurating two celebrated Chefs to lead the chapter, at a special event held at Meat & Co. in Madinat Jumeirah yesterday, with the Irish Ambassador to the UAE – H.E. Aidan Cronin as guest of honour, and alongside industry luminaries such as Flavel Monteiro, award-winning culinary book author.
Irish grass-fed beef is known to be among the best in the world. It is widely acknowledged by seasoned, leading Chefs, and case in point are the 90 head chefs globally, many of whom lead Michelin star restaurants and represent the higher echelons of the gastronomy industry, who are a part of the invite-only CIBC.
The event announced and commemorated the popular Dubai-based Chefs who will be leading the UAE chapter – Group Executive Chef of New England Brasserie Company, Saradhi Dakara, and Chef De Cuisine Ilaria Zamperlin – which also included an exclusive seven-course tasting menu, featuring premium Irish beef, dairy, seafood and more, against a stunning back drop of the Burj Al Arab lit up in Green to mark St. Patrick’s Day.
“One of the defining characteristics of Irish produce, which makes it so revered globally for its high quality, is the tremendous care and attention to detail that goes into every step of the journey, from farm to table. The Chefs’ Irish Beef Club is a wonderful way to honour this prime product of Irish farms. As a proud Irishman, it was a pleasure to be present on St. Patrick’s Day, to support the Bord Bia team in breathing life into the new UAE Chapter, and to see that it is being led by two very talented professionals” said His Excellency Aidan Cronin, Irish Ambassador to the UAE.
“Green pastures, clean air and plentiful rain are three ingredients that make up the uniquely special taste, tenderness and quality of Ireland’s grass-fed beef. Irish beef is celebrated for its consistent premium status across the supply chain, from grass-fed and well cared for cattle in Ireland, through to the way it is handled with utmost care throughout the export journey”, said Claudia Saumell, Regional Director Middle East, Bord Bia.
“The Chefs’ Irish Beef Club is a platform that encourages culinary inspiration and innovation for Irish food and drink, endorsed by leading Chefs from across the world. And with Chefs Saradhi and Ilaria leading the way, we have breathed new life into the UAE chapter which will include various events and initiatives that highlight the benefits and ways of using premium Irish beef across the UAE’s culinary industry”, added Claudia.
The CIBC is an international platform with nine chapters globally across the UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and the UAE, with 90 head chefs serving as ambassadors of premium Irish meat and dairy. It was set up in 2004 for award winning chefs to benefit from the advantages of Irish beef and serve it in their award winning and Michelin star restaurants. As members of the chapters, these chefs serve as advocated of Irish beef by accelerating valuable partnerships through culinary experiences and innovation, and meet a minimum of twice every year, visit Ireland every two years.
“I can say with confidence that Irish beef and produce is the best that I have ever worked with throughout my career which spans over a decade,” said Group Executive Chef Saradhi Dakara, New England Brasserie Company. So, to be nominated as a member of the Chefs’ Irish Beef Club is an honour and privilege, and I look forward to working with CDC Ilaria, members of the different chapters, and Bord Bia, to pour my culinary vision, inspiration and passion into working with quality Irish produce including the famous John Stone beef with the respect it deserves” said Chef Saradhi Darkara.
“Coming from working in the UK, I have worked with Premium Irish beef and other produce throughout my career. So, the high level of quality and care with which the produce is treated from farm to table comes as no surprise. It is an absolute delighted to be a member of the CIBC UAE chapter along my fellow Chef Saradhi, and I thank BordBia for the opportunity to be a part of shining a spotlight on something I truly believe in. I cannot wait to work with the team to develop innovative ways to integrate this into my professional world”, said Chef Ilaria Zamperlin.