Award-winning chef Reif Othman has given luxury Irish beef a strong endorsement in the Gulf as he becomes the first restaurateur outside Europe to join Irish food organisation Bord Bía’s Chefs’ Irish Beef Club (CIBC).
The CIBC initiative was launched in 2004 to provide a platform for marketing Irish beef in the luxury foodservice sector. In total, 88 chefs participate in the scheme across Europe and now the UAE.
At the culmination of a five-day trade mission to the Gulf, Creed presented chef Othman with a sculpture of Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Brown Bull of Cooley), an extremely fertile stud bull from Irish mythology.
The handcrafted sculpture is presented to each member of the CIBC during their inauguration.
Premium beef exports
“I am delighted to receive this honour and look forward to working with Bord Bía and my CIBC colleagues to showcase the finest qualities of Irish beef,” Othman said, accepting the statue and the CIBC uniform.
“I have visited Ireland on a number of occasions and have seen first-hand the care and attention that goes into producing beef.”
Othman said the quality of Irish beef was down to the environment, attention to animal welfare and the lushness of the grass.
Creed added that the 13-year-old CIBC scheme had elevated Irish beef’s reputation, portraying it as a premium product that has helped convince high-end foodservice operators to serve grass-fed Irish beef.
“One of Bord Bía’s key priorities in increasing the value of Irish beef exports is to establish it as a premium product,” said Creed.
He described the endorsement as the result of “considerable investment”, adding that government support had helped Irish farmers declare their “beef to be the best” on the global stage.
Bord Bía said it hoped to welcome four more UAE-based chefs into the CIBC this year.