Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Even farmers buy his meat

Butcher, chef and businessman Darryn Clyne has joined forces with Turihaua Angus to offer high quality products to tantalise the taste buds of discerning meat consumers. Darryn grew up on a station in Canterbury and trained as a butcher before becoming a chef. His first visit to Gisborne was a six-week assignment to feed the 80-plus crew at Whangara during filming of the movie Whale Rider. After filming, the keen surfer returned to Auckland briefly before buying a catering business and moving permanently to Gisborne.

He opened The Gisborne Deli in 2004, combining the deli/cafe and catering businesses.

The 2007 earthquake demolished the deli and while the catering business continued it took two years to find a suitable site and set up again.

The new building had plenty of space and Darryn had been thinking about sourcing and butchering his own animals. 

The Turihaua Angus frying steaks are a hit with customers at The Gisborne Deli and Butchery.

Too much red tape

“We were buying in meat at that stage. I had butchery skills and wanted to make sausages so I started buying in meat for that.”

Meanwhile, he met sheep and beef farmers Hamish and Angela Williams, of Turihaua Angus stud. Together they pursued the idea of starting a mobile abattoir but red tape and compliance costs were too much.

“All we really wanted to do was cut meat in the best possible condition, which is farm meat,” Darryn said.

“We started talking about a butcher shop and I knew I had a space here I could utilise.”

They discovered the abattoir at Ruakura, Hamilton was one of the few plants that could process the Turihaua Angus cattle in the way they wanted.

When selecting the carrier, Hamish and Angela ensure the stock will be delivered in a calm, stress-free way.

Six Turihaua cattle are delivered to Hamilton at a time.

Darryn orders one cattle beast as he needs it. That animal is walked into the yard the night before and is the first on the slaughter chain the next morning.

The remaining cattle continue grazing next to the abattoir until they are needed for slaughter.

“That improves the quality of the meat significantly,” Hamish said.

He said the abattoir had been very supportive of what they were trying to achieve and they had absolute trust in it to care for and slaughter the cattle in the best possible way.

The carcasses are aged for a week before being sent to the butchery where they are further aged on the bone.

The Romney-cross lambs are slaughtered in a similar way, by Ovation in Gisborne.

Darryn said the key to top quality beef was the aging and killing process and, in this way, he and the Williams could control these factors.

“And the meat is 100% traceable.” 

Adds to value

Turihaua cattle are DNA sampled so the information is there if it needs to be checked. Each carcase arrives at the butchery tagged so Darryn knows which animal he is working with and when it was killed.

The whole process adds 15% to the carcass value.

“I feel that what we’re doing is the right thing,” Darryn said.

It also provides a local advantage to compete against the larger chains.

Darryn’s customers are assured the animals enjoy a stress-free environment on-farm and during transport to the processor.

“The more discerning customers are interested in how the animals were treated and there’s a taste difference. The flavour is fantastic.”

Many of Darryn’s customers are farmers who like the initiative and want to support it.

He also likes offering a more traditional way of buying meat.

Customers can tell him what they want to cook and Darryn can suggest the best cut of meat.

As a chef, he can offer cooking advice and has a pile of recipe books on the shop counter to offer inspiration.

“I want people to be able to utilise our skills as chefs.

“We’re doing the best meat and the best food so people know they’re getting a good product and a good service.”

Steak remains whole so it can be cut to each customer’s preference.

When it comes to Turihaua Angus beef, Darryn said all the frying steaks were popular, particularly eye fillet, which sells out quickly.

He also sells free range pork and has a stall, selling mostly sausages, at the Gisborne Farmers Market every Saturday.

The sausages are meaty, gluten and preservative free with simple flavours – beef and mustard and just plain beef.

“We have to have a market for these sausages, so there’s no wastage.”

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