David Mateer has spent hours of polishing, scrubbing and buffing to get his master 8ft bbq in tiptop condition, after news that his Banbridge-based business ‘Safari Steak Burgers’ has been confirmed as one of the caterers at this week’s Giro d’Italia.
The business, which claims to offer the largest range of gourmet burgers in the UK, will be based in the official Fan Park at Titanic Quarter on Thursday May 8 to Saturday May 10 and then at the big family festival in Malahide, Dublin on Saturday May 10 and Sunday May 11. Dave promises he’s got some great selections lined up if you fancy sampling anything from Springbok or Kangaroo, to Wild Boar and apple, or even Crocodile.
“There’s still a major waiting list of caterers trying to get accepted for the Giro d’Italia,” said Dave.
Despite logistical headaches and the difficulty of trying to estimate quantities for such huge crowds, Dave and the team are excited.
“This really is a very big one for us and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think we would be involved. Our staff are excited to be so close to the action. We will be based in the Fan Park so we’re right in the heart of it – it’s an amazing feat to be involved in something this big.
“We are expecting crowds of over 100,000. As much of our meat can’t be sourced locally it needs to be pre-ordered from various parts of Europe, so planning quantities has been difficult.
“We will be serving 10 different varieties this weekend. We get our baps fresh from a local bakery, so it’s been difficult knowing just how many to order and get delivered to us.
“We also need to make sure our staff are where they need to be at the right time.”
Dave was disappointed when initially he was turned down for the tender as it specified Armagh traders, but when ‘big son Robbie’ encouraged him to contact them again with further information, he did so and was accepted.
Proud and passionate about his product, Dave believes they were selected because of their range.
“They were very impressed with what we had to offer. We have a range of over 50 burgers, including gluten-free, vegetarian, organic and vegan ranges and then of course we cater for the meat-eaters too.
“It’s not just standard burgers we sell. What we do is unique. There’s a growing demand for this sort of product and we are being asked to do more and more events.
“Really, it’s been about listening to our customers. People were asking if we did vegetarian options or healthy alternatives, so we decided to take this on – and I believe this is why we’re going so far.”