Cook report

I was told by my meat supplier recently that due to the increasing demand for grilling meats in the summer months, as across the country, barbecues are dusted off and the English suburbs are awash with the smells of burnt meat and lighter fuel, there

is less demand for forequarter product.

As a result of this, we are being told that the pricing is likely to be prohibitive. Personally I would say it is just a case of making hay while the sun is shining.

However, for the restaurant industry, this issue has a massive impact on profitability as basically, if the price of a meal is too expensive, customers are not likely to be eating out.

When it comes to this kind of issue, it seems that a large part of the foodservice sector does not have the skills or knowledge to benefit from the cost effectiveness of diversifying from the traditional prime cuts.

This is despite the huge efforts made by sector organisations such as EBLEX and BPEX, as well as the wider meat industry - with butchers such as Aubrey Allen being a prime example of those who strive to make quality assured and innovative products widely available.

Personally in my own restaurant our menus have a set price and the best sellers are not the obvious choices, such as fillet of beef, but stuffed breast of English welfare-friendly veal, or organic pork belly with homemade black pudding, the profit gain on such items making up the shortfall on more costly cuts.

It is possible to offer the best quality produce within a given cost but necessity being the mother of invention at present it means looking beyond the obvious.