Prime Gourmet has recently opened its doors to a new, larger store on Umm Suqeim Road, Dubai. Equipped with a premium butcher shop and demo kitchen for chef workshops and tastings, the store is integrated with Country Hill’s wholesale warehouse and processing facility to portion control orders, in particular for Japanese Wagyu – with the goal of building a sustainable supply chain of halal-certified Japanese Wagyu beef, using all cuts of the cow, not just the traditional loin cuts.
Dariush Rakhshani, partner & CEO of Country Hill International and Prime Gourmet, tells more.
Tell us about the store, its location and what will be on offer…
Since its creation, Prime Gourmet has evolved from a dedicated showroom for chefs to a retail concept in its own right with a traditional butchery, where consumers can gain access to the same high-quality steaks they enjoy in restaurants. This month (November 2019) we open our brand-new facility on Umm Suqeim Road (before Al Khail Road) bringing it closer to Country Hill International’s wholesale operations, as well as the new central facility for portion control and value add – bringing Prime Gourmet’s branches to three locations. The new store will be quite big, around 400 sq. metres and will be a heaven for meat lovers, with a wide variety of meats and different cuts, our gluten-free burgers and sausages, as well as butcher’s meat preparations such as marinated or stuffed meats, to offer to shoppers ready-to-cook products as an alternative to the usual steak. We will also have a delicatessen, specialty gourmet products, cheeses and condiments to complement our meats. The big novelty of this store is the demo kitchen, a dedicated area that will be used for preparing cooked products to sell in store, as well as a venue for workshops and classes (butchery and cooking) and for chefs who may not have a kitchen and want to work on their menu.
Tell us about the new store’s demo kitchen – what it will be available for, and how chefs can use the space…
The demo kitchen will be able to host a group of six to eight people and will have a live cooking station with a teppanyaki grill, a charcoal oven (X-Oven similar to the Josper), a rational oven, a smoker as well as a rotisserie grill. We want to create a space for experimenting, trying and learning about our delicious meats. We will look at offering this space to chefs interested in trying our products for their restaurants, or for teams of chefs and butchers to learn about meat cuts and butchery skills.
Talk us through the types of beef that will be available at the store, as well as the diversity of cuts on offer…
The choice will be wide. We have Saroma Wagyu from Topfarm; Stockyard Angus and Wagyu Beef; OBE organic certified beef; Silver Fern Farms grass-fed beef and lamb; ESA milk fed veal; and Tegel as well as Rangitikei chicken. In terms of cuts we have been a pioneer in the introduction and promotion of the secondary cuts which have become increasingly popular and have shifted the traditional preference of the so-called loin cuts like tenderloin, striploin and ribeye. With the introduction of the Japanese Wagyu, we are the first butcher shop in Dubai that consistently offers Japanese Wagyu beef in a variety of cuts (especially the secondary cuts) and slices (steak, yakiniku, shabu shabu, stew carpaccio etc.). We wanted to make this business sustainable and affordable for both the farmer and the consumer, so we have developed our model based on the use of the whole animal from neck to tail.
Where is the beef imported from and how regularly will it be brought into to Dubai?
We import high quality beef, lamb, veal and poultry from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Holland. We bring most of our products chilled by sea and air and we have several shipments on a weekly basis from all the countries of origin.
What price bracket can chefs expect to find at Prime Gourmet?
In Prime Gourmet we are able to offer a wide variety of pricing based on the requirements of the customer, while not compromising on the quality. This is achieved through the offer of more and less expensive cuts (loin, secondary cuts), as well as different meat programmes (grain, grass fed, organic) and the countries of origin.
Beef aside, what speciality ingredients will be available at the new store?
You will find rubs and sauces, some ingredients for Japanese and Korean dish preparations, truffles, cheeses, halal cold cuts, artisanal pasta, cooked and ready-made meals, and in general high-quality products that complement our meats and make it easy to prepare a restaurant-like dinner at home. For the festive season we will offer ready cooked turkey and roasts.