Kelvin Andrews knows good beef. His beef of choice? Stockyard’s premium Angus and Wagyu beef from their Kerwee Feedlot in Jondaryan, QLD.
QUALITY IN QUEENSLAND
The past decade has seen the paddock to plate movement take hold in Australia. Consumers want to know where their food has come from and that the producers place an emphasis on quality and sustainable practices. Restaurants and consumers in Sydney and Melbourne have long taken this concept in their stride, with Brisbane quickly catching up. The Brisbane restaurant scene is fast becoming a hub of premium eating, with quality offerings popping up in all precincts.
Kelvin Andrews is no newcomer to the scene. After starting life in his parents’ restaurant and cooking professionally for over 18 years, it’s safe to say he knows good food. His recent venture SK Steak & Oyster, spearheaded alongside Restaurateur, Simon Gloftis as part of the STK Group, is an example that an unbridled commitment to excellent local produce and outstanding service creates a world class dining experience.
According to Andrews,
“The key to our success has been having the best of the best.”
And having the best, includes a long-standing relationship with Stockyard Beef. “I came across the product earlier in my career through the industry, at a trade show actually. Not many people were buying premium produce in the Queensland market, certainly in Sydney and Melbourne, but not up here…”
When it came to the menu at SK Steak and Oyster, Gloftis and Andrews wished to serve all their favourite foods, but top quality of course, found through partnerships with producers and suppliers. When asked what it is that makes Stockyard an obvious choice for the menu at SK, the answer was simple.
“The quality and consistency of the beef.”
“When I tried it, I fell in love with the beef. Over the years of building a relationship with the Hart’s, the producers, the choice has solidified thanks to all the intangibles that come with partnering with a local producer – the story, the commitment to quality and to sustainability, the [Hart] family, and the brand. It all this alongside producing the most consistent and premium beef there is in Australia.”
PREMIUM PRODUCTS BUILT ON RELATIONSHIPS
This relationship has fostered a training program for the SK Steak and Oyster staff which has allowed the restaurant to consistently deliver on exceptional customer service. “The farm is local – only 2 hours west of our restaurant, so we’ve had the privilege of being able to see where the beef comes from,” said Andrews. “Our team tours the farm multiple times a year as part of their training, so we can hear and see first-hand the cattle being well loved and fed the best ingredients, sustainable practices, a family run business. It makes it an incredibly easy conversation to have when our team are answering our diners’ questions – because they have their own experience to draw from. It’s icing on the cake so to speak – a very delicious cake.”
Upon speaking with Andrews, it became clear that the consistency in the flavour and quality of the product was key to grain fed beef. Not only to the restaurant, but for the consumers.
“As a restaurateur grain fed will always be the superior product because its more consistent in flavour and marbling. We want to deliver the high standard our diners expect from an SK steak, and we couldn’t achieve that time and time again with grass fed beef products.”
While public debate continues on grass fed vs grain fed beef, it is a no-brainer for those in the know. “If anyone asks for grass fed beef, we just explain the reasons why we don’t have it, due to the lack of consistency and the wonderful producers we have in Stockyard who tirelessly feed, raise and care for their cattle, and have done for decades. Stockyard’s care around the ingredients their cattle are fed is exceptional. Whenever I’m at their Kerwee Feedlot, I sample the grains fresh off the roaster – it’s human standard of delicious.”
SUSTAINABILITY, WHERE IT STARTS
When asked about sustainable supply chains, Andrews agreed, “chefs and consumers want to know where their food comes from, and I believe they have every right to know. We have some of the most innovative, interesting produce whose quality beggar’s belief being produced just a stone’s throw from our major cities. Australia is the lucky country for this fact. There’s no reason why we should be importing.” This sentiment has been confirmed by Stockyard in their domestic growth over the last 4 years. Domestic demand is so strong, their domestic market has grown from 10% to now 30% of total sales. And it’s easy to see why. Stockyard practices sustainable farming, they are globally accredited, transparent and focused on the future. All things that chefs and consumers want alike. The sustainable supply chain goes both ways, Stockyard like to have exclusive partnerships, they are firm believers in relationship building and getting the best of out this for all parties.
Lachie Hart, Managing Director of Stockyard, tells us
“We believe in developing long-standing partnerships. Kelvin has taken our product from restaurant to restaurant. It’s a testament to Kelvin on the importance of knowing where their produce comes from and aligning themselves with a brand who can deliver quality products and do so sustainably.”
Stockyard are committed to education and run many programs for front of house and back of house staff on the feedlot. All of which adds to the premium nature of their product and continues to have chefs and consumers hold the brand in high esteem.