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TE MANA LAMB “up there with Wagyu, truffles and caviar”

Ben Bayly, former My Kitchen Rules judge and executive chef at exclusive Auckland restaurants, The Grounds, The Grove and Baduzzi, puts TE MANA LAMB firmly in the league of a “luxury ingredient”. “It’s a fabulous product and I put it up there with Wagyu beef, truffles and caviar – products which are suited to fine dining restaurants and you can justify paying a premium for,” says Ben. “I’ve worked with TE MANA LAMB sales manager Lyndon Cleveland for some time and he told me about this new lamb. I tried it and loved it. I also attended a Headwaters meeting and acquainted myself with the entire TE MANA LAMB story. I met the farmers and saw the chicory pastures, learned first-hand how much work has gone into TE MANA LAMB, from the genetics to the breeding and feeding, and saw how strict their criteria is.” It’s important to know how to tell the TE MANA LAMB story to diners, says Ben. “Our waiters explain where TE MANA LAMB comes from and how it is farmed. We have it on the menu at The Grounds and The Grove and I hope to get it into Baduzzi too. Asian, American and European tourists all want to have lamb and I want to serve the best lamb I possibly can. It’s early days, with this being TE MANA LAMB’s first commercially available season, but our diners love it.” Ben uses TE MANA LAMB shoulder at The Grounds, which he cooks for 12 hours. The Grove degustation menu includes two TE MANA lamb dishes, one braised and one served raw and seasoned, Middle Eastern style.”