Having grown up in Toowoomba (Queensland), BBQs with lamb was a staple at Chef Peter Smit’s family dinners. Having uprooted from Australia to New Zealand, guided by his passion for cooking, Chef Peter Smit is ever grateful to an “amazing company and fantastic suppliers”, as it allowed him to understand how lambs’ taste profiles varied from each country due to climatic conditions or the way they are farmed.
The butchery that we used is one of the best in the UK and we worked very closely with small farms from Cornwall to ensure we had the best produce available to us that wasn’t already from our farm.Peter Smit
We speak with the Lambassador, an initiative from Meat and Lifestock Australia, about his lamb expertise, razor-like focus on produce and his philosophy in running the hip, 12-seater P&C in Singapore, which is in the midst of a relocation.
Popspoken: We all know that despite being a small nation, Singapore prides itself on being resilient in facing the supply and demand chains. How has your experience been in terms of tackling consumerism habits and sourcing of lamb here?
Chef Peter Smit: Lucky for us in Singapore there is nothing that we can’t get. I have been very lucky since being in Singapore to get to find some of what I feel are the best suppliers and most understanding. I use ORCA for all my Australian meat as they source mostly from Australian produce and are from a butchery background, so they have the knowledge and know-how of the best products and farmers.
Popspoken: What makes Australian lamb so good? What differentiates it from others in the market?
Chef Peter Smit: Because Australia is so diverse you can always get a different type of flavour profile. Victoria has an amazing clean flavour profile because of the terrain that they are farmed on. In South Australia you can have the lamb that is farmed around the coastline so has a slighter seafood flavour and Western Australia has another flavour profile altogether so depending on what you are looking for you can find.
Popspoken: You mention that your cooking style revolves around sustainable sourcing and low-waste cooking. What is Australian-grown lamb doing to reduce its environmental impact and what are you doing different in this kitchen to carry the produce further – nose-to-tail cooking tips perhaps?
Chef Peter Smit: I try and use every part and more so the secondary cuts to bring them more into focus for people to use and enjoy.
Popspoken: From working in the kitchens of No Sleep Club to the gastro-bar, P&C, how approachable do you think lamb is an ingredient for bar food and how compatible do you think it goes with cocktails?
Chef Peter Smit: At P&C we make it more food-focused and working with Jay Gray he has the knowledge and open-mindedness, adaptability and drive to be able to understand the direction I want the food to go and be able to pair cocktails tailored to each specific course.
Popspoken: In your Lambassador video, you said that “every culture has a lamb dish in it”. What is your favourite cultural representation of this produce? Where can I find this dish in Singapore?
Chef Peter Smit: You can find snippets scattered throughout Singapore from satay at places like Lau Pa Sat to Black Tap at Marina Bay Sands doing an epic lamb burger.