Autumn has arrived, bringing with it an Indian summer (thank goodness) so at last our cattle can laze in sunny fields. Despite the lack of sun, the summer months have passed in a hazy blur of visits from Australian Wagyu breeders, North East & Central Charolais Club, North Highland Cattle Club and chefs from existing and newly launched restaurants up and down the country.
One particular visit I?ll never forget was the Gordon Ramsay Group and Classic Fine Foods in August, pictured below with me ?conducting? them!
They were a fantastic group who, like us, had a great day out tasting an assortment of Wagyu goodies and seeing the cattle. The wonderful Andre Lima de Luca, who knows everything worth knowing about BBQ, was part of the group and introduced himself as ?the man who plays with fire? ? the best job description I?ve ever heard 🙂
In other exciting news, I?m pleased to announce that I have a new job. I?m now a Saturday girl at the new deli we?re supporting, No16Deli in Bridge of Allan 🙂 No rest for the wicked!
We opened to a roaring trade at the beginning of September and are so grateful to our supporters who dropped in to see all the lovely fresh goodies on offer from local producers, including Highland Wagyu beef. So our private customers are able to buy a little something special from there now. It?s been great to meet our private customers face to face. It?s a fab foodie hangout and I?m looking forward to meeting more and more of you soon.
Rest assured though that we?re still delivering across the UK and have started with our new HW Beef Box of goodies.
Here is (a rather jet lagged) Nick Nairn and Tony Singh who popped in on opening day.
Beef enquiries have been coming in thick and fast from across Europe - from Sweden to Italy and Portugal to Lithuania. It?s just fantastic to speak to people from all over the world who share our love for Wagyu beef.
Speaking of Wagyu love, I?m already taking orders for Christmas and there?s only so much of our Wagyu available so please, please let us know as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. It?s difficult to think about Christmas now I know but last year I was so snowed under that I didn?t even send a Christmas card out! How bad is that! So this year I?m on the ball? needing Christmas orders in early!!
And continuing the theme, we?ve been kept busy over the summer with many new customers who are Wagyu fans. We love working with our customers ? new and ?old? - and wish we could mention each and everyone; I just don?t want to leave anyone out and cause offence!!
The majority of our beef goes to chefs and restaurants in and around London so we?re pleased to see that more and more chefs and restaurants in Scotland are coming to us now, including the Chop House, which opened this month in Leith. And it was great to host owners Mark Fraser and Michael Spink and their front of house team at HW to see our operation and really understand what we do here.
We?ve also been also been working with Bonny Porter of Balls & Company in London for a long time so we were delighted to get a mention in her interview with Casual Dining Magazine.
And we?ve just started working with Paul Eagles who is over the moon with our Wagyu products now available at his luxury food store, Eagles Fine Food. You?ll also see he has Wagyu (meat) balls, lol.
During our much-needed week in Spain, we had the chance to meet up with Scottish and British Chef of the Year Adam Handling and his delightful fianc?e. Adam is a long-term supporter, having been with us from the beginning. We have a good laugh with Adam. I call him my adopted son and he calls me ?Mom? 🙂
The summer has been flat out on the cattle side too. Autumn calving started early August for HW Angus with a delivery of a heifer calf by Netherton Black Magic out of a Rawburn Transformer heifer (photo below).
Our Wagyu embryo calves arrive year-round so we?re always welcoming new little ones, who are incredibly cute. Just look at this one:
In July, we flushed some of our Wagyu females as part of our embryos for export programme, for which we?ve had huge interest from South Africa, so watch this space.
And then there was the hectic show season. HW Shorthorns had a fantastic day at The Great Yorkshire Show with the mighty Quoiggs Freud winning four of the most prestigious (and oldest) trophies in the country.
Freud was named Male and Overall Champion Shorthorn at the UK Beef Shorthorn Championships 2015. Here?s George looking ecstatic with the Brothers Colling Memorial Trophy.
At Perth Show, our 15-month-old Shorthorn HW Hazard made Reserve Male Champ. Meanwhile, we?d like to congratulate James Porter and the Uppermill team who took home the Mohmar Trophy for the second consecutive year for the ?Most Successful Herd? across four qualifying shows.
HW Angus also made a splash on the show circuit. At the Aberdeen Angus National Show in Kelso, HW Frances was Heifer Calf Champion and Reserve Supreme Calf (below) before making Supreme Champion at the National Aberdeen Angus Junior Championships in Birmingham, pictured below.
We also welcomed two new Shorthorn girls to the HW family. Uppermill Rothes Jet, an 18-month-old maiden heifer is by Dunsyre Demetri and out of the Podehole Yeaoman daughter, Uppermill Jasmine. We also bought Uppermill Cillian Jenny, another maiden heifer, who is the first Eionmor Chieftain daughter to be sold in the UK.
Finally, we welcomed a smaller, furrier, indoor addition to the HW family with the arrival of our gorgeous French Bulldog, Yoda. He?s such a blessing and though he?s a lot of hard work he also brings a lot of joy and forces me to stop working at home by sitting on my laptop. He even sleeps by the oven when Mohsin is cooking and barks when the meat is ready. What a great sous chef ? and a perfect match!
I?ll leave you with this picture of Yoda tucking into his first Wagyu bone to remind you that dreams do come true. They might be much harder work than you imagined, but they?re worth it.