Hazon Food Conference
Any kosher chowhands make it to Monterey for the Hazon Food Conference? Our experience was capped by scoring 7 lbs of grass-fed, sustainably-raised, responsibly schechted lamb from the KolFoods folks. Lamb chops, some rack of lamb, a meaty shankbone and an assortment of soup meat and bones. Since it had already been defrosted, it all got cooked up last night, with a lot of leftovers. Wonderful meat. The most striking comment came from the chef at the conference site, who had cooked up a small amount for tasting. When I complimented him on the results, he said that it was really all just because of the quality of the meat, and that he'd willingly take any more meat from the same source. Except for chicken, I don't think I've ever heard of a non-kosher chef* saying they wanted to use kosher meat. On the other hand, he didn't know how much it cost!
*The kitchen at the conference was kashered, and the kitchen staff was trained and supervised during the conference, but this was the first time they had dealt with kashrut issues.
"Except for chicken, I don't think I've ever heard of a non-kosher chef* saying they wanted to use kosher meat."
That's a little non-scientific, he was saying that sample that they brought to demonstrate their product was of good quality (as one would expect) -- and there's obviously no reason why Kosher lamb can't be as good as non-Kosher.
It wasn't a science experiment, it was dinner :-)
I remember how for IIRC Israel's 50th birthday there was a huge fancy dinner in Israel where outstanding chefs from around the world cooked for a special fundraiser multicourse meal. There was a public tv documentary about the meal and the preparations. I remember the chefs were incredulous about two things in particular: not being able to use butter and cream (it was a fleischig meal; the french chefs were particularly annoyed), and being asked to work with meat that had been drained of blood, soaked, and salted.