Are the salt marshes the secret of the taste?

Where does the outstanding quality of Australian beef come from?

Cowes, Phillip Island/Australia | 22. October 2023 | Text + Pictures Oliver Schendzielorz

Next Stop Antarktis!

I asked myself this question when I came back to Phillip Island in Australia with MotoGP.

I was invited to dinner on my first day back in Australia by master butcher Paul from Hill Top Farm Butchers. Over a beer on Phillip Island and a fantastic Wagyu rump steak, personally prepared by him, we discussed many things about meat in Europe and Australia. The next day we visited rancher Andrew Walton on his farm, which Paul says has the best Black Angus cattle on Phillip Island. He didn’t promise too much, they are great animals with outstanding genetics. The cattle move freely in their huge enclosures with lush meadows. In our conversation, Farmer Andrew mentioned the salt content in the grass, which accumulates in the vegetation from the salty sea air, giving the meat a spicier note. We find exactly the same thing in Europe, namely in France. There, sheep and lamb are kept on the salt marshes around Mont-Saint-Michel, which also develops an outstanding taste. In Germany too, countless cattle are transferred to the Halligen islands over the summer, who then take over the landscape and enjoy the salty grass. (here is a video about it). If you look at the global map of salt marsh deposits, you will notice that the south of Australia covers a very large area and that most cattle and sheep are bred in these areas, such as Victoria and New South Wales. New Zealand also produces outstanding beef and sheep meat while also having large segments of salt marshes, and it is now evident to me that this grassland produces high-quality meat.

Next, we ventured from cattle to fish. I visited the San Remo Fisherman’s Co-Op and saw what kind of fish they had which I didn’t know about. I immediately found what I was looking for on the counter and tried out a Tassie Trumpeter. Tassie stands for the fishing area on Bass Street off the coast of Tasmania. The fish had unusually firm flesh and was a real delight in terms of taste. This couldn’t exactly be said about my choice of drink, Kirk’s creamy soda with vanilla and ice cream flavour.

Like last year, Paul put together a great selection of meat from Phillip Island for the now-traditional barbecue for my MotoGP teammates at the end of the event. On this occasion, he invited me to his family’s Saturday evening dinner, where there is traditionally always a barbecue. Together we grilled delicious Black Angus steaks, potato slices, cornsticks and what I haven’t done before, briefly blanched Brussels sprouts, halved and then grilled. That was really tasty!

Paul and I have decided that in the future we will work together, across continents and make our ideas a reality together.

Let yourself be surprised!

Germany meets Aussie-BBQ
Free-roaming Black Angus cattle on the lush salt marshes of Phillip Island
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Kochschule & Events
Schlossgasse 9
73312 Geislingen an der Steige

Telefon: 07331-441777
Fax: 07331-441778