It has been a busy year here at Highland Wagyu, so many events that will stay in our memories forever, and so much to tell you about! So here is my month to month summary of a year at HW HQ.
February was fun for some! Our Highlanders certainly enjoyed the winter weather and had a great time playing in the snow.
Meanwhile, we were busy with the development of our charcuterie. We perfected our Bresaola and Secina (even if we say so ourselves) and Merguez and Nduja reflected the extremely high standards we impress upon ourselves here at Highland Wagyu.
March saw the first phase of calving, and we celebrated the arrival of over 150 Wagyu calves! Another moment worth celebrating in March was us seeing our Beef being used in Castle Terrace, one of Edinburgh finest, and one of our favourite restaurants.
All the while it must be noted that our Wangus was going from strength to strength.
April was a very special month for us. We were honoured to receive a visit from Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca who tasted our beef and saw our cattle. Yes, Joan Roca was here! To be in the presence of the man whose restaurant was voted the best in the World on more than one occasion is a truly humbling experience, and to hear such warm and positive feedback about our beef is incredibly exciting.
May brought the 2nd round of calving with more youngsters arriving, and saw us hail Shmidt, the nomination for The Grill by HW?s mascot!
As most of you will know, our latest venture is The Grill by HW, a new restaurant in Bridge of Allan that will allow us to cook our own product. This is exciting for us and it has been a long wait, but we are pleased to be opening the doors in early March, so please make sure you pay us a visit. As we finalised the brand identity for the Grill, we felt it was only right to pay homage to Shmidt, our pet.
We also celebrated a big birthday at Highland Wagyu HQ, but let?s leave that there?.
June was a busy month! Our good friend, Andre Lima de Luca ? aka. Barbecue King of the World ? came over from Brasil to visit and helped us develop some inspiring BBQ ideas for us to showcase at the World Angus Forum that we were hosting.
Not that we ever need an excuse to dine at The Kitchin, however, following the launch of ?Wagyu Minister? Tom Kitchin's new book ?Meat and Game?, we felt it only right to congratulate him.
Tom was on Saturday Kitchen in June too and took the team north to visit us on the farm, and introduced the Saturday morning followers to some of our cattle including the famous ?Bill?. He then showed viewers how to cook
our beef alfresco, which I?m sure got the neighbours talking!
We were delighted to see our good friend Clare Smyth who came to see us, take a tour of the farm and give our steers a good scratch!
June finally ended with the Royal Highland Show where RHS where, as per usual, our stand sold out within 3 days! Thanks to all our loyal customers that come and visit us there every year, we couldn?t do it without you.
July was the arrival of the Angus World Forum, not before we were truly honoured to receive a visit by HRH Queen Elizabeth to our sister company Highland Spring. A great honour and privilege to be visited by such a great lady. Never one to be lost for words I?m not sure what happened to me that day?. Let?s just say she will run a mile if she sees me again!
The World Angus Forum was a huge success and saw huge numbers march through the gates at Netherton/HW. Our Brasilian friends managed to cook an eye watering 500 Angus Rib Eyes in only 1 hour and 10 minutes!
In Early August we travelled to London to attend the opening of Core by Clare Smyth. We were joined by our good friends the Kaufmanns on what was a truly memorable evening. It is a joy to witness the art this lady can produce.
August welcomed ?Secretary of State for Scotland? David Mundell to Highland Wagyu, of course it provided us with the perfect photo opportunity with Mr. Mundell sporting his new HW baseball cap!
We also visited our friend Chris Hoy with some of our Wagyu beef, and to give him a few pointers on what he should do on his charity run across the South Pole!
Another wonderful moment in August was to host Zen Noh at the farm. The National Federation of Agricultural Co-operative Associations, is a federation of agricultural cooperatives in Japan. It was wonderful to be able to show their breeders and feeders around the farm.
Oh? HW Frenchie was growing and now beginning to inspect hay! I think there could be more photos of HW Frenchie circulating around Japan than Wagyu.
In September another of our developments matured, our Wagyu Pancetta! So delicious! We?re total addicts, putting what I call ?Wagchetta? on everything!
The weather was starting to chill, and as winter approached, our cattle started going up the hill, with the spectacular views, who can blame them.
Zen Noh returned in October, this time with a large delegation, all coming together at Wagyu House. Present in the delegation was Mr Tanaka, a Master Butcher whose skills in the butchering and presentation of Wagyu was demonstrated.
There was a big moment for Highland Wagyu in October, as we sold out first Beef Shorthorn female at United Auctions in Stirling.
Another visit to the Kitchin showed us yet another dish developed by Tom Kitchin, who has now been serving our beef for over 5 years, and without whose support, we would certainly not be in the position we find ourselves today.
In the mean-time our boys were just getting bigger and bigger, as was HW Frenchie, who was getting to understand that snow was there to be enjoyed!
The final month of the year saw our new steadings completed. These can now feed 250 steers under one roof.
Our Spring born, young Fullblood bulls were now being selected for feeding or for breeding. One of these young Fullblood bulls has been sold to someone starting a new project and we wish them all the best with this fine young bull, HW Kazue.
We also produced one of our most spectacular Fullblood carcasses. We have now reached what the Japanese describe as an A5 BMS 12th Grade. The highest grade found in Japan. It genuinely brought tears to our eyes, to realise all the hard work was now producing what was once only a dream for us.
We must not forget to mention Wagyu House. We have found the online retail side of things go from strength to strength this year. A part of HW where food enthusiasts can explore the wonderful world of Wagyu in their own home.
Again, as we do every year we would like to thank the many different people that support everything HW does. Without your continuous support we wouldn?t be here doing what we love to do, so thank you all.