Welcome to Australia Lambassadors!
In May this year, MCG Events were excited to host Meat and Livestock Australia as they filmed on location at the MCG with over 30 Lambassadors attending a workshop and gala event over 2 days.
Created 15 years ago, the Lambassador program was established to support local farmers, educate chefs overseas, and promote lamb on the international stage – which is considered as a niche alternative internationally.
The Lambassadors – from countries including Singapore (Petere Smitt), United Emirates (Hatem), Pakistan (Saher) and Vietnam (Francis Thuan Tran) to name just a few – arrived in Melbourne, many on a first-time visit, for an immersive program to educate and expose them to lamb.
The Lambassadors, each celebrated chefs from around the world – toured Victorian farms, dined on lamb in well-known Melbourne restaurants (Maha and Society) and participated in a ‘cook off’ challenge at the MCG.
With an arrival usually reserved at the MCG for the sporting greats, the Lambassadors ran up the race and onto the hallowed turf, and after a briefing, they were broken into teams. The Lambassador challenge had each team create a dish using a different cut of lamb with mystery box of accompanying ingredients to prepare a dish, with a two-hour time limit. Each group then presented their dishes to a panel of industry judges.
The then State Agriculture Minister, Mary-Anne Thomas, joined the team of chefs in the MCG kitchen to demonstrate her own culinary skills behind the grill, to a wave a rapturous applause from the visiting crew.
“Victoria is known for World class produce, food safety, and a reputation to protect and enhance. Lamb is one of our primary exports, contributing to $1.4b annually. The success of this program over the 15 years it’s been running is immense. And this year it’s required to support our farmers and exporters in wake of covid, where our Victorian farmers faced tough challenges.” – Minister Mary-Anne Thomas
Each Lambassdor has been inspired by the experiences and the new techniques they have learnt. It is this knowledge they will bring back to their own restaurants, to showcase lamb in new and exciting ways. The program has seen huge success in regions where lamb is not traditional – such as Japan – but the biggest market for lamb is still Australia.
The event concluded with gala celebration in the famous Long Room at the MCG, where our own Executive Chef, Dylan Sanding was challenged to create a menu of only lamb dishes. Click here to see how he approached the menu design and created a bespoke menu for the event.