WHAT’S better than a cold beer and a fat steak?
How about a combination of both, served up by two of the finest chefs in the North East.
This month, Bright Brewery head chef Simon Buckley and Simone’s Restaurant’s Anthony Simone will do just that at a $120-a-head, four-course lunch in Bright.
It’s called The Steer Ate the Beer and the centre piece is “Lunch” a $10,000, 16-month-old, 450-kilogram Wagyu steer who, for the past five months, dined on the region’s finest beer grain.
He was also being sung to by his owner’s young kids.
The music helped lower his stress levels, improving his taste.
If the Hansel and Gretel-style fattening up of a living thing only to eat it later makes you queasy then maybe stop reading now.
About 11am on Thursday, Lunch was slaughtered at the Wangaratta Abbatoir.
He will now hang on a hook for a few weeks before the majority of his carcass will be turned into a meal.
But on Wednesday, a relaxed Lunch roamed happily about his paddock at the Tumblegum property, just outside of Smoko on the Great Alpine Road — his home of the past five months.
According to Tumblegum owner and Kuro Kin Wagyu Stud’s Christy Kemp, the process of raising what you kill, and then eat, is a healthy one.
“The whole lunch is based around using the whole animal so there’s no waste, everything is used from tip to tail,” Ms Kemp said.
“I love (the cattle) but if you can give them a great life ... it’s really good to know they’re using the whole animal ... it’s a really holistic way of looking at it,” she said.
Brewery co-owner Fiona Reddaway — inventor of The Steer Ate the Beer — and brewer Jon Seltin said the lunch was a way of getting back to knowing what you were eating.
“It’s a bit like the circle of life,” Ms Reddaway said.
“With supermarkets these days most people don’t even know where what they’re eating comes from.”
“The whole process is a closed loop,” Mr Seltin added.
Tickets to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival lunch on Saturday, March 16 are still on sale.
Contact Fiona Reddaway on 0438 254 455 or e-mail fiona@bright brewery.com.au.