Sourcing the right ingredients is part of the many priorities of any successful food business.
It is a critical decision because of its direct effect on the quality of your end products.
Let’s start a series about sourcing ingredients, starting with Meats.
The demand for meat is ever-present and consistent despite the growing trend of vegan diets, especially now with the rage of Keto and Carnivore diets, where the main component of protein is meat.
Meats such as pork, beef and poultry can be sourced from local farms or smaller suppliers. You build a direct relationship with the farmers, helping you get the freshest, best quality meats. Not only that, but you are also supporting their local economy in the process.
Some farms practice more sustainable farming that is better for their animals and the environment. However, in reality, not all have acceptable practices for animal welfare and sustainability, which is why you must get to know the farmers directly. Ask questions and if allowed, take the time to observe their procedure.
We all would like to campaign for local farmers. Still, it is not wise to automatically assume that quality is a guarantee just because a farm is small or local. Which is why another good practice is to hire a third-party to ensure food safety.
Some local farms may or may not offer delivery, so be sure to factor that in your operation. In the case of run-outs, you need to be able to have other options at the ready.
Read more on having the right meat supplier from a section on my previous blog post Tips To Make You Feel Confident in Serving Raw Fish and Meats
Meats can also be sourced from Farmers Markets. Farmers’ markets are trendy in cities where people may not have easy access to local or regional farms. More and more chefs prefer local food markets for locally sourced ingredients. Chefs get to handpick ingredients and talk to the farmers directly. If organic grass-fed meat is your priority, you are also likely to find them here.
Check out this list of Farmers Markets in Perth and Western Australia.
Butchers work hand in hand with livestock farmers. Often, they’re a trusted source of information about which cuts you need for your menu or special events. You not only get fresh cuts of meat but also some education such as knowing where the meat came from. Or you can order in whole pigs, lambs and sides of beef to be butchered in-house.
The downside to this is that supplies can be limited to daily stock.
Wholesalers offer a large selection of meat items.
There are many advantages to purchasing from large scale wholesale meat suppliers:
- They work with a large network of farmers/breeders
- They have butchers who can get the meat restaurant-ready
- They deliver goods via truck, and you can usually order online, over the phone, or sometimes through an app.
- Most of them have more resources to invest in sensor technology to ensure proper food safety. The availability of technology systems can be reassuring to restaurants.
However, which way you choose to source your meats, it is important that you always look for quality. Consider the cleanliness of the farm or facility, if they pasture their animals whenever possible or give these animals high-quality feed. The quality of your ingredients will reflect in the quality of your products.
Chefs and restaurants have different ways to source their products usually combining more than one to best suit their needs.
Surprisingly, many chefs and restaurateurs still find sourcing ingredients to be a challenge. Which is why when they collaborate with Anytime Chefs, not only do we provide relief chefs (among many other services), but we can also connect to suppliers for quality products. Give us a call and lets talk how Anytime Chefs can help you and your business!
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,