Celebrity Chef Program
Beef Australia 2018 brought together prominent local and international chefs to Rockhampton to showcase Australian beef and the ways it can be eaten and enjoyed by people all over the world. Chefs featured at the PwC Celebrity Chef Restaurant, The Butcher’s Kitchen and around the grounds in a celebration of the very best of Australian beef.
As part of this program, MLA is brought internationally renowned Australian chef Curtis Stone to Rockhampton, as well as MLA’s own celebrity chefs and Aussie beef advocates Sam Burke and Tarek Ibrahim to drive awareness of the quality, versatility and nutritional benefits helping to promote beef consumption to chefs and consumers everywhere.
Over the week the The Butcher’s Kitchen featured MLA Beefing Up Profits sessions educating attendees about Meat Standards Australia (MSA) and why MSA is the Australian red meat industry’s stamp of approval for eating quality consistency from paddock to plate. MLA Beefing Up Profits also featured daily sessions showcasing the value added work MLA is doing with butchers and retail outlets to produce meal solutions and new ways to use beef for increased carcase utilisation.
MLA is talking to @BeefAustralia 2018 attendees about Meat Standards Australia (MSA) and why #MSA is the Australian red meat industry’s stamp of approval for high eating quality consistency #agchatoz #BA2018 pic.twitter.com/dpmLJv7ol5— Meat & Livestock Australia (@meatlivestock) May 7, 2018
As a chef, restauranteur, author, media personality and businessman, Curtis has become a household name both in Australia and overseas.
Following 12 years of culinary training in Australia and Europe, eight of which were under renowned chef Marco Pierre White, Curtis opened his first solo restaurant, Maude, in Beverley Hills in 2014, which has garnered recognition from The James Beard Foundation, TIME/Travel & Leisure (lists Maude as one of the best new restaurants in the world), Eater LA (Restaurant of the Year), LA Weekly (Best New Restaurant followed by Best Restaurant) and more.
Following on from the success of Maude, Curtis partnered with his brother Luke to open one of the most anticipated restaurants of 2016: Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant in Hollywood. Gwen, a European-style butcher shop and fine-dining restaurant pulls together age-old fire centric cooking methods with the best craft skills in meat and game preparations. Since opening, Gwen has received acclaim from LA Weekly (Best New Restaurant), Eater National (Most Beautiful Restaurant in the Country) and, among other notable credits, was also listed on The Robb Report’s “Best of the Best New Restaurants in the World”.
Curtis is very familiar to Australian TV viewers through regular appearances on MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. He has also hosted a number of top rating programs in the US.
Award winning and internationally renowned chef Tarek Ibrahim developed his passion and respect for food from a young age. Recently acclaimed as a Master Chef by the World Association Chefs’ Societies, Tarek is also a Certified Executive Chef by the American Culinary Federation and Global Judge A class (WACS) and current star of Orbit TV show ‘Al Qaheralyoum’, Tarek has also starred in a number of Fatafeat TV shows ‘100 Lahma’, 100 Macaroni, Mashawy and ‘Min Misr’ from Egypt. Chef Tarek’s cooking is influenced and inspired by both eastern and western cultures.
With over 30 years experience both in the United States of America and the Middle East, Tarek has a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of food. Opening his first coffee shop and bakery in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1984 he followed his success by opening five more casual dining restaurants each with a different cuisine.
Following his commercial success, Tarek became a highly respected teacher in culinary art at the Arts Institutes International Minnesota from 1999 to 2005.Winning several gold and silver medals in highly respected culinary competitions including Taste of Elegance (Central Region), twice named Chef Par Excellence and also holds the honour of being named the Primer Chef of America not once but twice by the American Dairy Association.
Tarek is currently working as Corporate Master Chef for Meat and Livestock Australia, providing training sessions to executive chefs and food service professionals on meat handling and cooking methods. Tarek is also one of two trainers to the Egyptian Olympics Team. Tarek is married to Sharon and has two young children, he also holds a commercial pilots license.
Sam Burke is an executive chef, marketing and hospitality operations manager with more than 23 years industry experience working with premium beef.
Starting out as an apprentice chef Sam worked his way up the catering trade in butcher shops, corporate, leisure and sporting events including the Olympics and Rugby World Cup, before joining one of Australia’s largest commercial catering companies for 20 years. Trading catering halls for beef and boardrooms, Sam took over the executive chef reins at Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) in 2014 and has since travelled across Australia and the globe promoting and celebrating the quality and diversity of premium Australian beef to the wider community.
Sam’s expertise in large scale catering environments has enabled him to educate beef users on plate costs, product development and extracting value from the whole carcase. This included working with McDonalds Japan on new sandwich concepts using Australian beef alongside their traditional burger offerings and enabling other quick service restaurants and retailers to present smaller primal cuts to suit the growing convenience trend.
Globally, Sam has cooked for thousands ranging from trade shows in Asia, wagyu experts in Japan, politicians, sports stars, musicians in Australia and most recently at the Queen’s Young Achievers annual celebration at the Australian High Commission in London.
Sam’s knowledge of red meat spans the entire supply chain, having worked closely alongside farmers, processors, food technology scientists, chefs, restaurant chains, retailers, CEOs and meat traders to understand and celebrate the attributes of beef to the global chef and foodservice community.