Exporters' hot ticket

Celebrity chef James Martin had the task of cooking for 40 of Europe's top chefs and restaurateurs at a dinner hosted by the Prince of Wales on Monday at Clarence House in a bid to promote British beef.

Martin met the Prince at the royal residence's kitchen beforehand to explain the cooking process. His menu included a starter of 24-hour braised oxtail tureen, a main course of braised beef pies and Beef Wellington, and a lemon tart dessert served with sweet goat's cheese cream.

Beef used in the recipes came from four traditional British breeds - Scotch Aberdeen Angus, South Devons, Sussex Cattle and Welsh Black.

Martin, who stars in BBC One's Saturday Kitchen, said: "I have always been a supporter of British food because I was brought up on a farm. If I can give something back to support British beef, I am more than happy."

Martin described the task of cooking for some of Europe's top chefs and restaurateurs as "daunting", adding: "I think the secret of it all with jobs like this is simplicity. If you keep it simple then the product speaks for itself."

The dinner at Clarence House aimed to support the re-establishment of the British beef export market which was re-introduced in May this year.

Peter Hardwick, the international manager of the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC), said it was important to raise the profile of British beef to increase exports and said it required events like the Prince's dinner and the promotion of the beef for that to happen.

At a reception before the dinner, the Prince of Wales met with industry leaders and chefs from across Europe, and was presented with a signed book by Italian chef Carlo Cracco.

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