The NH Foods Angus Youth Roundup was a showcase of the beef industry from paddock to plate, and emphasizing the consumer experience was NH Foods Brand Partner Jason Roberts.

With decades of experience in the culinary industry, Chef Jason was on hand at Roundup to unlock the ‘Joy of Eating’ with participants, hosting cooking demonstrations utilising cuts of Verified Black Angus Beef Brand Angus Reserve. Firstly, Chef Jason hosted a session throughout day two of Roundup for each group of participants where he shared how the joy of eating starts at home, serving up a dish while answering questions about cooking, the quality of meat and his journey as a chef.

To conclude day two, Chef Jason hosted the celebrity chef dinner which saw him demonstrate the process of cooking Daube of Beef Check Provencal Style, which was then served to each participant at dinner after being prepared by Chef Jason throughout most of the day.

Not only did Chef Jason share more about utilising meats to the best of their abilities, enhancing the meat through its cooking process and his background as a chef working around the world, Jason also welcomed participants Joey Tindal and Harriet McCrohan to join the culinary adventure as his sous chefs, getting them up in front of the Roundup crowd.

Chef Jason Roberts with Joey Tindal. Photo by Branded Ag

Reflecting on his days at Roundup and spending time with the participants, Jason said, “I have been overwhelmed, maybe bordering on tears watching some of you guys in action. I think a lot of it is that full circle of opportunity.

“I know as a parent how proud I would be of you guys. Your engagement with each other, your ability to build relationships, your ability to handle animals, handle each other, stay intuitive, be in the moment – a lot of these words won’t make sense to you until later in life.”

“It’s a big thing my world now, running restaurants, learning how to cook, working with suppliers, working with farmers, talking about the quality of meat, what’s in season and what’s available.

“We’re also going through some of the pains of farming as well. I’m aware that farmers do it the hardest, sometimes you’re working 365 days of the year through droughts, floods and other businesses coming over. You’re dealing with a lot of different dimensions.”

He continued, “But ultimately, I think when you have an understanding of the full circle that I’m only one part of this. So as young farmers, young people in the industry, you’re part of that circle. You have mentors around you and you have people to help guide you.

“It means a lot to me to know who you are because you are the future of food on our table. You’re the future of what we’ll be serving.”

One overarching message from the demonstration was the utilisation of the carcase to minimise food waste, highlighting the use of cuts such as beef cheeks cooked in a way that emphasises the eating quality of that particular cut.

“When you’re a farmer, you don’t want to go and kill six animals and take one cut of meat, you want to learn how to use the whole thing. Most of you who are aware of doing home kills, you take the whole carcase, utilise everything you can with mince and chucks.

“It’s so important for you guys at this level, to learn how to utilise the whole animal,” he said.

When talking about his progression within his trade and what he found formative over his career that could be of benefit to the young people taking part in the Roundup activities, Jason said, “Half of what I do now, really is about being in the moment.

“When you pick up the microphone and you think that you’re quite embarrassed, if you can take yourself out of it, remove yourself from it and think about what you’re putting out into the world it helps.

“When I first started doing television, I was hopeless. I had camera on me, there was autocue and I would mess it up so I would have to start again and do it a number of times and I’d be so embarrassed.

“The day I actually got better was when I would go back to watch the recording and I learned to slow everything down.”

He continued, “When I came out today and saw some of you guys out there doing judging on the microphone, you do it so quick that you miss that opportunity to engage someone.

“Take that breath in first. It gives you that opportunity to look someone in the eye, similar to when you shake someone’s hand.

“You have an opportunity when you step into your presentation and when you’re talking to someone, to make that person feel seen.

“So just something to think about. Slow everything down, engage a little bit of eye contact, it will take you a long way, as well as getting used to being uncomfortable because eventually it will become like breathing.”

Chef Jason Roberts with Harriet McCrohan.  Photo by Branded Ag

Feature Image: Chef Jason Roberts with the NH Foods Australia team. Photo by Branded Ag

– Cheyne Twist, Senior Marketing and Communications Officer