May 03, 2017
Pepe Saya, the gourmet butter preferred by Australian chefs, is now available through Qantas epiQure.
Pepe Saya butter is tantalising the tastebuds of chefs all over the country. Mike McEnearney bastes an entire John Dory with it at Sydney’s No.1 Bent Street restaurant, while the bakers at Melbourne’s Lune Croissanterie wouldn’t dream of popping a pastry into the oven without first liberally brushing it with the cultured butter.
But that wasn’t always the case. When Pierre Issa first launched the product in 2010 at a Carriageworks Farmers Market stall in Sydney’s Eveleigh, most Aussie chefs were importing French butter. “It was shocking,” he says. “Imagine you fly in from Asia or Europe, go to a fine-dining restaurant on Sydney Harbour and you’re looking at the Opera House. Isn’t it a disgrace that you’re served French butter? We have such beautiful dairy; why buy butter from halfway around the world?”
With that salient question in mind, Issa went on a mission to make butter locally that was so good in taste and texture, chefs would be proud to serve it. Seven years on, they make up 93 per cent of his customers.
So what’s the secret? A lactobacillus culture that Issa adds to the cream before fermenting and churning it into butter. “The culture eats the lactose and converts it into lactic acid, which taints the cream with flavour.”
But you needn’t spend a fortune at a fine-diner to enjoy it. The hand-churned, single-origin spread – served to Qantas First and Business passengers on international and selected domestic flights – is now also available to buy online through Qantas epiQure (qantasepiqure.com).
Says Issa, “Just heat a baguette in the oven, spread Pepe Saya butter on it, sprinkle your favourite salt flakes and enjoy.”
Shop Pepe Saya at Qantas epiQure
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