Frenchman Fred Berkmiller sparked controversy when he introduced horse meat to the menu of his Broughton Street restaurant in 2010 – the chef patron of L’Escargot Bleu received almost 400 threats and complaints over his decision.
However, Mr Berkmiller maintains that horse is a delicious alternative to beef and other red meat. He serves it as steak tartare, cooked at the customer’s table, with sauteed potatoes and green salad.
He said: “Horse is very popular. We don’t use it on a regular basis because supply is limited. I tend to buy two rump steaks weighing between 12 to 15 kilos from my carefully sourced supplier, which sell out within a week and a half.”
Mr Berkmiller also runs L’Escargot Blanc and delicatessen L’Escargot Epicerie in the capital, serving a combination of French cuisine and the best of Scottish produce.
He believes the rising cost of beef may force diners to consider other varieties of meat, adding: “It costs only 60 per cent of what it costs to raise beef to raise horse. Horse has a flavour somewhere between beef and venison; it’s very lean and tender.”
Despite the scandal of burgers including horse meat on supermarket shelves, he remains optimistic about his sales, declaring he expects to be “very busy” over the next few weeks.