New Zealand lamb debuts at top Indian hotel

Pictured left-to-right are: are New Zealand trade commissioner Richard White, Silver Fern Farms regional manager Stu Donald,  Empire Food director Yogesh Grover and New Zealand High Commissione to India Grahame Morton.
Pictured in the Taj Mahal Palace’s Crystal Room are  (left to right): New Zealand trade commissioner Richard White, Silver Fern Farms regional manager Stu Donald, Empire Foods director Yogesh Grover and New Zealand High Commissione to India Grahame Morton.

New Zealand lamb was introduced to diners at one of India’s top hotels last week.

Silver Fern Farms and its Indian distributor, Empire Foods, worked together to put the meat onto plates at the world famous Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai.

The Taj Mahal Palace is a five star hotel well known for breaking new ground. Built in 1903, it was the first hotel in India to have electricity, a licensed bar and an air-conditioned dining room. It is notable for another food first when in 1980 it was the first hotel to bring in Michelin-star chefs to revolutionise menus.

The lamb made its debut in front of chefs and select food and restaurant industry guests in the Palace’s Crystal Room, a place where maharajas dined and were entertained.

Mumbai-based Empire Foods is well known as a food importer which is the first to source new foods from around the globe for customers in India, according to the chilled and frozen importer’s director Yogesh Grover.

“We are delighted to introduce the highest quality foods to customers in India. When you dine at the country’s best restaurants, like the palaces of the Taj Group, you expect the world’s best lamb on menus and the exceptional quality of Silver Fern Farms’ New Zealand lamb is indisputable.”

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Keith Cooper says Silver Fern Farms’ lamb is perfectly suited to the Taj Mahal Palace’s restaurant menu as it is a premium food, naturally raised by expert farmers on the open green pastures of one of the safest meat producing countries in the world. Cooper says the company is looking forward to working with Empire Foods to reach foodservice customers in India.

“Empire Foods is an excellent partner for us in the India market because it understands how to meet the high quality service expectations of five-star hotels and fine dining restaurant customers.”

New Zealand’s High Commissioner to India, Grahame Morton, is pleased to see companies build new partnerships that grows trade between New Zealand and India.

“I’m pleased that more of New Zealand’s top quality lamb is going to be available on fine restaurant menus in India. New Zealand and India governments negotiated an arrangement in late 2012 that has allowed regular sheep and goatmeat exports to commence,” he commented. “I see high quality New Zealand agricultural products adding to the options that top Indian businesses and chefs have to provide superb dining experiences for their discerning Indian and foreign consumers.”

Yogesh Grover says Empire Foods has a very well established, well managed distribution chain across the country. “By and far, we are one of the very few companies in India which has well established cold chain for frozen food products spread throughout the country both for institutional and retail products.”

“Our products are sold throughout the length and breadth of India. Our distributors’ network is spread from Jammu & Kashmir in North to Kerala in South and from Assam and Calcutta in East to Mumbai in West, where our head office is located.”

The Taj Group is a key customer of Empire Foods. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces comprises 93 hotels in 55 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.

 Supplied by Silver Fern Farms.

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