Hiroyuki Sakai and Mark Furner

Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai and Agriculture Minister Mark Furner celebrate Queensland produce at Chef Sakai’s La Rochelle restaurant in Tokyo.

Japan’s famous Iron Chef, Hiroyuki Sakai, cooked up a storm using Queensland produce at an industry lunch at his La Rochelle restaurant in Tokyo recently.

The lunch marked the visit to Japan of Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner, who was in town on a trade mission to promote Queensland beef and other produce.

Queensland beef fillets, macadamia nuts, broccoli, honey and other produce starred in dishes served at the four-course lunch, which was organised by TIQ Japan and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Mr Furner said it was an honour to see the best Queensland produce prepared by Chef Sakai, who starred for many years in Japan’s Iron Chef TV series.

‘Chef Sakai is world-renowned as an Iron Chef and already has close ties with the Sunshine State,’ he said.

‘He is the honorary TAFE Queensland culinary ambassador to Japan and also appeared at Beef Week earlier this year.

‘Yesterday’s lunch highlighted the high quality of Queensland food that is exported to Japan, and the main course served up delicious Queensland-grown beef.

‘Queensland beef remains a family favourite in Japan, and yesterday’s lunch ensured that title remains at the forefront of importers minds and tastebuds.’

Beef is Queensland’s most significant agricultural export, with a value of almost $1.4 billion, and Japan is the state’s most important beef customer.

While in Asia, Mr Furner also visited Korea with the trade mission, which included producers and distributors from North Queensland, Bundaberg, Gympie, Warwick and Brisbane.

The La Rochelle lunch was held on Monday 10 September and was attended by key Japanese meat-buyers.

Promoting Queensland exports is a priority of the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.
La Rochelle Queensland Lunch menu:
Appetiser: Smoked Australian salmon topped with Queensland watermelon radish, salmon roe and tomato relish
Entrée: Oven-baked natural Japanese sea bass with Queensland macadamia nuts and lemon scented verbena
Main: Queensland beef fillet poêle drizzled with truffle-scented red wine sauce, served with Queensland broccoli and beetroot
Dessert: Queensland macadamia honey and fromage blanc mousse served with peach and vanilla ice cream