We caught up with James George from Select Meat, one of our suppliers, to learn more about the ins and outs of the meat industry.
He kindly shared his knowledge with us and we decided to pass this on to you, our customers, to illuminate as to where your meat is coming from when you dine with us.
How long have you been working in this industry?
26 years. I started out in meat, as a somewhat young apprentice, at Smithfield Market and worked my way up through the ranks and on to supplying chefs I’d met in the early hours of their mornings looking for better quality meat. It was very much a ‘warts an all’ experience that taught me more about what not to do…than what I should.
How important is the provenance of the meat?
For me, in terms of eating quality, it’s more about welfare and husbandry than provenance. I’m not naive enough to say that you can’t eat an amazing piece of meat that isn’t from up the road..but naturally if you want to keep your footprint minimal, then locality is key. It’s a hard compromise to find the perfect balance..so that is the dream…but I’m fortunate to be working alongside some amazing innovative farmers ..and we’re working on it.
What are the parts of your industry that you are most interested in?
Working with like minded people who want to create a positive, long term, regenerative future for the industry.
What are the trends to look out for in the meat industry in the coming years?
I think there will be one trend alone that will remain and that will be regenerative farming. It’s the answer to many problems the world is facing …and more satisfyingly, creates much tastier meat.
How should our customers ensure they are getting good quality meat at home and in restaurants?
Unfortunately there are no guarantees in this industry. It’s pretty much open to abuse from all angles, but unless they’re eating in a D&D restaurant that we supply, they should ask the basics. Does the operator know where the meat is coming from, is it British and are welfare standards monitored, and if not use www.turnerandgeorge.co.uk.
How long have you been supplying D&D London and what types of meat do you supply us with?
It must be over 10 years. It came about when I personally served Paul Jenkins (then head of purchasing) a couple of aged Dexter rib eye steaks from behind the counter at my butchers shop in Angel and he asked if we supplied restaurants…who’d have thought it eh…we supply both meat and poultry products but are proud to specialise in dry aged beef.