Rising Star US chef choses another rising star – Aussie goat

08 April 2016

The spotlight is shining brightly on True Aussie Goat in the US this year, with chefs seeking it out as a key ingredient.

It was recently the featured partner at the Rising Star Chefs Gala event in New Orleans, Louisiana. An initiative of independent chef community Starchefs.com, the Rising Stars recognises up-and-coming independent chefs in featured cities across the US.

Rising Star Chef Rebecca Wilcomb, of New Orleans' restaurant Herbsaint, approached MLA to source Australian product for her operation, citing it to be more consistent than what she usually sources domestically. She used the goat to create a dish called ‘crispy Australian goat with turmeric rice and curried lentils with a tomato-cucumber yoghurt salad’.

MLA’s partnership with Starchefs.com aims to promote Aussie goat as a product suited for any upscale dining establishment, especially with chefs looking to push their protein boundaries.

The events were attended by more than 450 local chefs, restaurateurs, local media and consumer food enthusiasts. Foodservice leads from the events were provided to an importer partner. MLA supported the event with an advertisement in the Rising Stars magazine, widely distributed to starchefs.com members.

MLA Business Development Manager - Foodservice for North America Catherine Golding said further Rising Stars events will be held in Miami and San Francisco, excellent target markets for Aussie goat due to their population's love of ethnic flavours and preparedness to experiment with their dining choices.

"Recent monitoring shows goat now features on 4% of restaurant menus in the US, growing 43% in the last four years," she said.

Almost 60% of Australia's goatmeat exports are directed to the US, totalling 17,626 tonnes swt in 2015 – down 8% from the record volume of 2014. The value of these exports was $159 million. The majority is exported as whole carcase.

"Underpinning this demand, traditionally, has been a rising Hispanic population which now accounts for 16.3% of the total US population," Catherine said.

"However, with the interest from up- and-coming chefs and the growth of goatmeat in restaurant offerings, we are starting to see demand come from consumers looking for a consistent quality protein for a range of dishes."

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