Chef Tom Kitchin on why Wagyu beef is among the best in the world

  • The Larder
  • 15 November 2013
Chef Tom Kitchin on why Wagyu beef is among the best in the world

Chef's choice - The Perthshire Larder

I grew up in Perthshire so the local area is special to me and I relish being able to work with producers and suppliers from the region.

Just this year, Blackford Farm introduced Highland Wagyu and I’ve been lucky enough to try cooking with itit and eating it in many different dishes. Wagyu beef is slightly more expensive than other breeds but is extremely special and I can honestly say it’s some of the most tender and succulent beef I’ve ever enjoyed. Wagyu beef is famous for the streaks of fat that run through it, giving it a 'marbled' effect which is what makes it so soft and adds that punch of flavour when it’s cooked.

Highland Wagyu is a cross-breed of the Japanese cattle with traditional Scottish pedigree cattle such as Highlanders and Shorthorns. The land in Scotland is ideal for grazing cattle, and Blackford Farm is situated perfectly between the Ochils and the Grampians, where there is a wealth of water. The cattle are fed on fresh hay and grain feed, with a sprinkle of Shetland seaweed and it's these ingredients that all combine to give them the outstanding flavour and tenderness I absolutely love. Wagyu cattle are massaged and kept in airy sheds, in a relaxed and controlled environment in order to nurture them, protect them from unnecessary stress and ensure the meat is of the highest quality. The result is outstanding. The care and attention that goes into the welfare of the cattle is what gives me absolute confidence that the produce is some of the best in the world.

Tom Kitchen grew up in Kinross and first worked as a chef at Gleneagles Hotel. He is chef-patron of the Michelin-starred The Kitchin in Edinburgh.