Iron Chef puts Qld produce on the menu in Japan

L to R: Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai and Qld Agriculture Minister Mark Furner celebrate Queensland produce at Chef Sakai’s La Rochelle restaurant in Tokyo (via TIQ)

Japan’s love for Queensland produce has seen it become the state’s biggest beef buyer. With the support of superstar “Iron Chef” Hiroyuki Sakai, even more quality Queensland foodstuffs could feature on Japanese tables following a recent Queensland Government trade mission to Japan.

On September 7, Queensland’s Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, Mark Furner announced the trade mission to the state’s second-largest export market.

The minister was joined by producers and distributors from North Queensland, Bundaberg, Gympie, Warwick and Brisbane, all seeking to promote Queensland’s high-quality produce, including aquaculture and value-added food and beverages.

“The pure fact is that the Japanese can’t get enough of our mouth-watering beef,” Mr Furner said in a statement.

“It is our most significant agricultural export with a value of almost $1.4 billion, which is 84 per cent of Queensland’s total agricultural exports to Japan.

“Of the 76 countries Queensland sends beef to, Japan is our most important customer. This is why the Palaszczuk Government is so keen to support our producers, processors and feedlotters to boost our exports to Japan and attract more investment in the industry.

“The more people in Japan that eat Queensland beef, the more jobs will be created in rural and regional Queensland.”

Mr Furner said the trade mission would strengthen longstanding trade and investment ties, with meetings scheduled with government officials, importers and industry representatives.

The trip included a visit to Sakai’s Tokyo restaurant, La Rochelle, which QJCCI members also visited during a previous Japan business mission.

The star chef has also been appointed as an honorary TAFE Queensland culinary ambassador to Japan, having appeared at Queensland Beef Week.

For details of the mouth-watering menu featuring Queensland produce, visit the announcement here.


By Peter McDermott, Griffith University student