A SCOTTISH sheep farming family is helping UK chefs improve their understanding of the production of lamb.
The Ritchie family who farm Montalt, an upland farm at Path of Condie, Perthshire have been working with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) on the project which has seen them open their farm gates to produce a series of features aimed at educating and inspiring chefs.
The case study style features, which will appear on a leading chef website – The Staff Canteen – include interviews with farmers aimed at inspiring chefs by improving their understanding of the care and pride farmers take in producing quality meat.
Margaret Stewart, QMS Marketing Manager, said the video project is aimed primarily at young chefs who aspire to reach the top of their trade.
“The message we hope this project will help to convey is that if you want to produce the best dishes you must use the best products and understand how they are produced before they reach the kitchen,” said Mrs Stewart.
“The more a chef understands about a product’s unique characteristics – and these stem from the primary producer - the better he will be able to use it.”
The Ritchie family first took over Montalt in 1926 when George’s father, a ploughman working on farms in the nearby Bridge of Earn area, took on the tenancy before buying it outright for just £200.
The farm now runs 80 suckler cows and 580 grass-fed breeding ewes. The ewes provide quality, farm assured Scotch Lamb.
“We’re working in a global market with lots of sheep meat being produced all over the world,” said John Ritchie who runs Montalt with his father, George.
“For us to make a niche and stand out, we’ve got to go that extra mile so that we can say everything we produce is to a standard that no one else is really producing at the moment.”