Anthony Puharich.

It seems everyone these days is calling themselves a vegetarian but Anthony Puharich has a show for those who stand over their barbecue, tongs in hand, wishing a Neil Perry steak would materialise on the hotplate.

The enthusiastic carnivore and co-owner of Victor Churchill and Vic's Premium Quality Meat, Australia's biggest wholesaler of premium meats, is set to share his knowledge of meat in Foxtel's new show Ask the Butcher.

"Meat is a part of my life and has been for the past 16 years. I come from a long line of butchers and it's firmly entrenched in my psyche and runs through my veins," Puharich said passionately at Foxtel's 2013 program launch in Sydney earlier this year.

In 2009, Puharich and his father, Victor, became the fourth owners of Sydney's Victor Churchill in its 133-year history and have grown the business to become internationally renowned.

Around the same time, the young butcher had an idea which has set his life in a completely unexpected direction.

"We launched an iPhone app called Ask the Butcher in December 2009 and it was only the second food app ever launched in the world," he said.

"It was a culmination of all the answers to the questions I've been asked over the years. I never suspected how overwhelmingly successful it was going to be. We've had over 80,000 downloads and 50 per cent of those downloads are from overseas.

"So through that a lot more people found out about our history and our business.

"I had a phone call from a production company and they had heard about the business and the app and they were keen to make a TV program loosely based on the app and travel around the country meeting people and sourcing produce.

"At that stage I'd never done any TV but I'm really passionate about the industry so I wanted to get more information out there and we shot the pilot late last year and Foxtel loved it."

The eight-part series uses Puharich to link farmer and chef, providing some expert knowledge of all kinds of meat from lamb to Wagyu beef.

Each week he will travel to States across Australia, the South Island of New Zealand and Tokyo to meet producers of some of the best meat in the world.

He will then explain individual cuts and take viewers through the ageing process at Victor Churchill before chatting with some famous chefs - including Matt Moran, Maggie Beer and My Kitchen Rules guest judge Guy Grossi - about how to prepare the meat.

The first episode is focused on beef and will feature Rockpool's Neil Perry and Grossi's fellow My Kitchen Rules guest judge Colin Fassnidge.

Next month, two episodes will feature Hadleigh Troy, the head chef of Perth's Restaurant Amuse, and veal producer White Rocks Veal in Harvey, putting WA meat on the map.

"I've got family in WA so any excuse to get over there is a good one," Puharich said.

"In WA there's this incredible producer of veal. Australia doesn't have the strongest reputation in the world for producing really good quality veal.

"Our beef and our lamb is considered to be among the best in the world but we've struggled with the whole veal thing.

"White Rocks Veal down near Harvey produces this real specialised European-style veal. Veal is all about colour. With beef and lamb it's about flavour.

"Then there's Hadleigh Troy who has Restaurant Amuse; he has an amazing reputation and we visited him."

Puharich has been providing Troy with meat for years and has noticed that fine dining and the foodie culture in Perth is taking off.

"The whole dining scene in WA is changing a lot and improving," he explained.

"Obviously there are a lot of high-profile people from the Eastern States who have made it over there like Neil (Perry) and Guillaume (Brahimi) at Crown.

"That whole dining scene is starting to gain momentum and I really started to notice that."

Holly Richards flew to Sydney as a guest of Foxtel.

Ask the Butcher starts today at 5.30pm on LifeStyle FOOD.

The West Australian

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