Peter Schmidt from OBE Beef Australia brings a taste of the Australian Outback to C’s at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta.
Text by David Trauts
The Channel Country is an area deep in the Outback of central eastern Australia. It’s a vast plain where the clean river waters from the north of the country flood into inland lakes creating a natural and unspoiled spring of all things good. The Channel Country area is also a place where a group of farmers have been rearing stock of Hereford cattle for generations, and in 1994 the 20 pastoral families of the area joined together to make a collective called ‘OBE Beef Pty Ltd’, which has capitalized on the worldwide appreciation of organically produced goods and their very own organic inheritance from this naturally organic inland pastoral area. One of the directors of the company, Peter Schmidt, was in Jakarta recently to promote the beef with a special menu of prime OBE cuts at C’s restaurant for one week at the Grand Hyatt Jakarta. FRV Travel caught up with him to discover more about all that goodness that was once locked up in the Australian Outback, but is now available almost all over the world.
The beef is probably one of the tenderest cuts one could find on any table in the land, but the main point is the flavour. “It’s just like meats of old,” says Executive Chef of the Grand Hyatt, Mark Long. “Juicy, flavoursome, and tender. A lot of meats nowadays don’t seem to have much taste at all, but the OBE cuts are full of succulent flavour.” Peter Schmidt puts it down to the nutrients found in the Channel Country, which are washed down the rivers from northern Australia. “It is the nutrients that pass into the meat that give these cuts their exceptional flavour,” says horticulturally- honoured Peter Schmidt. These are natural, mostly undeveloped areas of Australia, and once the flood waters recede, the area is covered with myriad wildflowers, native grasses and herbs from which the cattle graze. Unlike coastal rivers, the river waters remain in the inland basin of Australia, retaining the nutrients, which feed the natural flora of the pastures all year round.
It is the nutrients that pass into the meat that give these cuts their exceptional flavour.
This area of approximately 70,000 square kilometres, where all OBE beef is raised and roams freely, offers some of the best, natural and nutritious cattle feed on the entire planet. Schmidt also pointed out that the Channel Country lands are inherently ‘organic’ and of course have been that way since the beginning of time. In the last decade ‘organic’ has become the buzz word for a greener and healthy lifestyle and OBE is the real thing. Founded as a premium organic exporter with zero chemicals, pesticides, growth promoters, no grain feeding, and strictly adherence to the animal welfare code of ethics, their product is guaranteed second to none and any more organic would be hard to find.
Without much promotion, word spread quickly around Jakarta about the OBE offerings at C’s for the week-long promotion. People came from far and wide to try the new cuts on the menu list. They included 180g and 250g tenderloin, 250g sirloin, 250g rib eye, and the really enormous tomahawk that weighs in at 800g. Dishes also prepared by the Grand Hyatt’s Chef Christer to take advantage of the OBE visit were an oxtail foie gras terrine, and smoked pepper seared beef carpaccio.
Peter moved from table to table telling guests the story of the Channel Country and OBE beef in his affable, Aussie outback drawl, but the proof was in the pudding as they say, and many a juicy steak was ordered and devoured by the C’s carnivorous diners. According to the chefs, they will be adding more OBE beef, which has already been on the menu in a limited form for two years, to their permanent menu soon. If you missed out on last month’s promotion, don’t fret, as there will be more of those succulent cuts on the menu in the near future.
Grand Hyatt Jakarta
Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Kav 28-30, Jakarta
Tel: +62 21 2992 1234