world best steak

The first-time entry from Japan was an A4 grade, 30-month-old female from Starzen Co

A Japanese Wagyu has been crowned the World’s Best Steak at the 2022 World Steak Challenge awards.

The first-time entry was sourced from an A4 grade, 30-month-old female from Japan-based supplier Starzen Co. Raised in the country’s Kagoshima region with a warm climate and abundant water, the Akune Gold beef was described as “carefully cultivated” by WSC judges, resulting in “the highest quality Wagyu steak”.  

After a full day’s technical judging on Wednesday at the Fire Steakhouse & Bar in Dublin, the Wagyu was also hailed as “a clear cut above the rest”, winning additional gongs as the World’s Best Sirloin and World’s Best Grain-Fed steak.

Now in its eighth year, this year’s competition – organised by The Grocer’s publisher William Reed in association with Bord Bia and equipment partner Synergy Grill Technology – attracted more entries than ever before from top steak producers and suppliers worldwide. Ireland took the most medals with a total of 54, followed by England with 36 and Finland with 28.  

The World’s Best Rib-Eye went to Australia’s Jack’s Creek, previously Best Fillet, Best Rib-Eye and Grain-Fed winners in 2021. The 32-month-old pure-bred Wagyu was grain-fed and praised by judges for being “tender, juicy and full of buttery flavour”.

The award for Best Fillet Steak went to an MFC Carni female from Poland. The grain-fed crossbreed of Polish Holstein and Black Angus is known for its “intense flavours, sweet aroma and unique tenderness”.

Meanwhile, the Best Grass-Fed steak in the world went to an M&S-stocked, full-bred Dexter from Linden Foods, Northern Ireland. The 30-day matured rib eye was described by judges as “very tender and rich”.

“We are thrilled to have a new winner for this year’s World Steak Challenge,” said WSC judge Ed Beddington. “It is very exciting to have our first Japanese entry and consequently the winner of World’s Best Steak.”

“We are proud to welcome all the producers from around the world here to Ireland, where grass-fed and sustainable farming practices is core to our beef industry,” said Mark Zieg, beef sector manager at Bord Bia. “In an environment like the World Steak Challenge with top producers, chefs and judges, we feel it is the ideal opportunity to share our values in producing top-quality beef.”

The awards were announced at the Round Room at the Mansion House in Dublin and were judged blind by a panel of over 60 independent experts including Richie Wilson, TV chef and executive chef of Fire Steakhouse, and Ioannis Grammenos, executive chef and meatologist of Heliot Steak House in London.

“It was a privilege to welcome the World Steak Challenge to Ireland and to have Fire Steakhouse & Bar as the venue of choice for the 2022 judging process,” said Wilson.

“To have the world’s best beef cooked and served by our excellent team to a panel of industry experts was an absolute honour – a massive congratulations to all of the 2022 winners.”