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Home Cooks Are Grabbing Discount Wagyu, Uni, and Caviar

Forget those canned beans. Ultraluxe foods are being sold straight to consumers at wholesale prices.

Bone-in rib-eye from Morton’s Steakhouse.

Bone-in rib-eye from Morton’s Steakhouse.

Source: Chefs’ Warehouse

Two months ago, Regalis Foods was selling premium Japanese A5 wagyu to chef Alex Stupak’s Empellon restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. On March 15, Empellon, like all New York restaurants, was ordered to close its dining rooms because of coronavirus restrictions.

Regalis is revered among high-end establishments for its luxury products, from wagyu beef and truffles to caviar, gourmet cheese, and rare mushrooms. The audience instantaneously disappeared. “We lost 99% of all business,” says owner Ian Purkayastha. On March 16 he pivoted to sell his inventory directly to consumers—at a discount.