Making the most of beef and lamb

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Collaboration . . . Beef + Lamb NZ ambassador chefs Pablo Tacchini (left) and Michael Coughlin put on a collaboration dinner at Cucina in Oamaru as part of the 2019 Beef + Lamb NZ ambassador series on National Lamb Day last Friday. PHOTO: CRAIG BAXTER

Inspiration and collaboration are what Oamaru’s Pablo Tacchini is enjoying most about being a Beef + Lamb NZ ambassador chef.

That was on show at his restaurant, Cucina, as part of the 2019 Beef + Lamb NZ ambassador series on National Lamb Day last Friday.

Mr Tacchini and platinum ambassador chef Michael Coughlin, of Dunedin, created a six-course menu for more than 60 guests that focused on fine New Zealand cuts.

They included beef skirt, braised lamb shoulder ravioli, Oamaru grass-fed organic flank steak, 45-day aged beef and confit lamb belly.

Mr Tacchini said he was happy to be associated with the organisation, which named him one of this year’s five ambassador chefs.

It gave him the chance to collaborate with other chefs, learn and refine techniques and pass on or gain inspiration.

Proud of his Argentinian heritage, Mr Tacchini said he got real satisfaction from passing own his own knowledge not only to his fellow ambassador chefs, but also to others who loved cooking with beef and lamb.

“You are continually learning and when we meet with each other, talking and seeing how they work and the inspiration for their dishes. It gives you some inspiration and motivation, of course.

“We have this Argentinian influence of course .. so doing a little bit of that and helping them.

“Beef + Lamb have a big group with a lot of followers on Facebook, people who work in the industry, so we can get a really good conversation going, so that’s been great to be part of as well.”

Mr Tacchini moved to New Zealand with his family almost 10 years ago.

He had worked at restaurants around the Waitaki region including Northstar, Riverstone Kitchen and Fleur’s Place.

Two years ago, Mr Tacchini and wife Yanina bought Cucina 1871.

They renamed it Cucina, updated its interior and developed a menu playing to their joint passions of Italian food and Argentinian barbecue.