Our beef on MasterChef
EAGLE-EYED MasterChef viewers might have noticed a familiar icon pop up on their screens during Wednesday's episode, with John Dee Warwick's meat making the episode's final cut.
Contestants competed at Sydney's Mean Fiddler restaurant and were handed a striploin bearing the John Dee Silver logo as they began preparations for creating their dishes.
John Dee manager Warren Stiff said the inclusion of the local cut was a surprise even to him.
“My kids actually spotted it and I watched it in slow motion yesterday morning to confirm it,” Mr Stiff said.
Although he can't confess to being an avid MasterChef fan, Mr Stiff says he always looks up when he hears they're cooking a steak.
While companies often pay to have their products or logos strategically placed within shows for publicity, Mr Stiff said this was not the case in this situation and said it was likely the restaurant was regularly supplied with John Dee beef.
“We didn't organise it – it was completely impromptu,” he said.
Although the logo was only flashed across TV screens for a few seconds, Mr Stiff said the appearance was already generating feedback.
“We have had a lot of positive comments about it already. I have had emails from people I don't even know saying they've seen the products on the show,” he said.
Mr Stiff said while it was easy to tell the meat was high quality, he said that sadly wasn't mirrored by the contestants' cooking.
“It's just a shame they didn't do it justice in preparing it,” he said, referring to plates customers sent back to the kitchen as the steak wasn't cooked to their liking.
The John Dee plant is Warwick's biggest employer of full-time staff, with more than 430 people on the books.
Mr Stiff said although he hadn't yet received feedback from the employees he said he was sure they would be pretty pleased.
While the majority of John Dee meat is exported, Mr Stiff said it was becoming more available in pubs, restaurants and local butcheries and was available locally at Lyons St Butchery.
In the aftermath of the contestants' attempt at cooking the local meat and for someone who spends a lot of time around the product, Mr Stiff was asked for his expertise on how to cook the perfect steak.
He said it was important to remember it was easy to destroy a perfectly good steak and said he had a tip for pleasing your customer every time.
“It doesn't matter how good meat is, you have to give it to someone how they asked,” Mr Stiff said.
“You don't want them to be disappointed before they try it so you can't just give it to them how you cook it and expect them to eat it.”