Hugh Judd, foodservice project manager at the AHDB, told the PMA: “There’s always been a trend for people in procurement to look at lamb as a high risk product. It’s expensive when it starts and then there’s inconsistency sometimes in the product.
“[Chefs] look at how they match that on their menus with their price points and lamb sometimes falls off the menus. But actually, it doesn’t if you use it seasonally as [street food traders] do.”
There's always been a trend for people in procurement to look at lamb as a high risk product
He said more traditional chefs could draw inspiration from the way street food traders cooked “using only the most basic of equipment” but produced food “literally as good and as tasty as fine dining,” adding that using alternative cuts could create cost effective solutions.
Judd said that whilst the initial cost of better quality lamb may be relatively high, it could in fact actively benefit operators’ GP.
“It’s always said the most expensive meat you can buy is the meat that comes back to the kitchen – if you buy something badly butchered, it doesn’t matter how good a chef you are. Rubbish in, rubbish out.
“If you get rubbish lamb that’s not been done properly you’re going to have a hell of a job producing something that a customer’s going to enjoy – it doesn’t matter what your cost price is, next thing you know that piece of meat you thought was good value getting it cheaper and untrimmed has actually turned out to be the most expensive” he added.
“So from a GP point of view, what matters is if you take away the excess fat and bones, your initial protein cost will go up obviously because you’ve had to trim it but you will have none of that coming back into the kitchen and it will eat fantastically.”