Irish beef has been selected as a key ingredient for Bocuse d’Or, the highly respected culinary competition held every two years in Lyon, France.
The Bocuse d’Or selection panel said that the grass-fed nature of Irish beef gave the product a higher quality of tenderness, taste, and texture.
The product will now feature at the Bocuse d’Or finals in January. These take place during Sirha, the world hospitality and food service trade show.
Bocuse d’Or director Florent Suplisson said: "The choice of Irish beef fillet for the 2013 edition of the Bocuse d’Or is in line with the tradition and overall objective of our competition.
"Our international organisational committee takes great care in choosing the products which are presented to the candidates. We ensure to select the best products for a cuisine of excellence that places the spotlight on products from all over the world."
Named after three-star Michelin chef Paul Bocuse, the food industry refers to this event as the Olympics of fine cuisine.
The fillet of Bord Bia quality assured beef that will be used in the competition was chosen due to the sustainable farming methods combined with animal husbandry of the Irish farmers.
Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter said: "With a majority of our beef exports destined for European markets, the priority is to differentiate and position Irish beef by presenting a premium image to secure its place in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
"Our partnership with the Bocuse d’Or is aligned with our global strategy of working with chefs internationally to raise awareness of the quality of our produce.
Irish beef has already garnered a comprehensive following among many of Europe’s Michelin Star chefs."
In the build-up to the finals, the individual national teams from across Europe, Asia, and the US will focus their attention on perfecting their Bocuse d’Or dish of Irish beef. It is hoped that the chefs will be encouraged to introduce Irish beef as a regular feature on the menu of these restaurants as they perfect their winning entry.
Bord Bia will also use the opportunity to build the awareness and membership of its Chef’s Irish Beef Club, an initiative underway since 2004 to promote the benefits of using Irish beef among international chefs.
Bord Bia meat division manager Declan Fennell said: "As a Bocuse d’Or member, Irish beef will join an exclusive list of other brands which have a strong association to haute cuisine and to the Bocuse d’Or competition, from which participation will be leveraged to ensure that Irish beef’s reputation, merit and product awareness are increased though a number of avenues over the coming months.
"We will highlight and inform the unique credentials of the meat to an elite circle of top chefs and international judges and a wider audience of international food journalists, bloggers, and TV viewers in key target markets for Irish exports," he added.