I think we can all agree, Graham is the best venison ambassador on the planet!
Graham was in China for 2 weeks in March, promoting Mountain River Venison with Hunter McGreggor from Shangai Rata, our import partner.
The focus of this trip was to present Mountain River farmed venison to Chinese chefs working in top end western restaurants.
Many of those restaurants are in 5 star hotels such as Marriott Group, for whom Graham held a training seminar (see photo in hotel atrium)...
Fortunately many of the chefs are western trained, so understand some English. However they tend to be less adventurous than western chefs, a learning from industry research conducted last year. So our approach needs to include more training which is where Graham's trip is relevant.
Graham presented to 85 chefs during this tour. Follow up will include making available video chefs can watch on their mobile phones - tools they need to be confident in the kitchen with our product.
Most of the executive chefs in the top hotels are westerners but there is a trend for those chefs to be replaced with Chinese chefs, especially in the tier below the very top.
An example of a western chef - The chef at the Fairmont in Beijing (Christoph Zoller) is a Mountain River Venison supporter - see photo with poster hanging from the ceiling.
Christoph Zoller is a young Swiss chef returning to his homeland in May. Maybe he will take his passion for New Zealand venison back to Switzerland, another of our key markets.