Pepe Saya

Pepe Saya - round
When Piere Issa made a batch of butter in 2009 to use up cream leftover from his dessert-making business, little did he know it would become an obsession and grow into one of Australia’s most recognised food brands. He and his wife, Melissa Altman, began with a stall at Carriageworks Markets and now count companies like Qantas – and restaurants including Rockpool Bar & Grill, Hubert and Aria – among their customers. What makes Pepe Saya butter so good? It’s churned from cultured cream (crème fraîche in other words), giving it a distinctive flavour, and the cream is single origin, churned in small batches resulting in a lower water content and creamier texture (see the Q&A below for more details on what makes Pepe Saya butter different).
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Cook With Pepe Saya

I use Pepe’s products in all sorts of dishes, sweet and savoury, across a wide range of cuisines.

Scroll down to see some of my cooking videos and recipes using Pepe Saya products.

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Tarte Flambée (Flammekueche) using Pepe Saya creme fraiche
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Tarte Flambee (Flammekueche)

This traditional flatbread from Alsace is so easy to make, perfect for when friends drop by. Pepe Saya creme fraiche forms the perfect base for a topping of speck and caramelised onion.

Morgan McGlone's Buttermilk Biscuits using Pepe Saya Buttermilk
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Buttermilk Scones

The first time I tasted Morgan McGlone’s buttermilk biscuits, I was in heaven! I think of these essentials of the Southern table as ‘naughty scones’ because they’re rich with Pepe Saya butter too!

Gulab Jamuns made with Pepe Saya ghee
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Gulab Jamuns

An Indian friend taught me to make this delicious Indian dessert. They’re even better made with Pepe Saya ghee, which Indian chef Ajoy Joshi says is the best in Australia!

Buttermilk Scones with Pepe Saya Buttermilk

Pepe Saya Buttermilk

Pepe's natural buttermilk is the liquid leftover when he churns cultured cream into butter. It adds a wonderful lightness to baking and a great tang to sauces.

Watercress Soup and Chive Pull Aparts

Pepe's Crème Fraîche

I love the tang of Pepe Saya crème fraîche swirled into soups and churned into ice creams. I use it instead of regular cream to brighten dishes and finish sauces.

Baby Radishes with Pepe Saya Cultured Butter & Olsson's Sea Salt Flakes

Pepe Saya Butter

I love Pepe's butter tossed through pasta, blended with herbs and spices to melt over steak, to enrich sauces and add flavour to baking. And on radishes!

Pepe Saya Cultured Ghee (190g)

Pepe Saya Ghee

I love Pepe Saya ghee for tempering spices and adding flavour to all sorts of dishes. Indian chef Ajoy Joshi says it's the best in Australia, and he should know!

Meet Pierre Issa (a.k.a. Pepe Saya)


Who is Pepe Saya? When was Pepe Saya Butter founded? Who owns Pepe Saya? Where is Pepe Saya butter made?

Pepe Saya Buttery was started in 2010 by husband and wife team Piere Issa (aka Pepe Saya) and Melissa Altman and first sold at Carriageworks Farmers Markets. It’s produced in the couple’s factory in Caringbah in southern Sydney.

Why is Pepe Saya butter so good? What makes Pepe Saya butter better?

Apart from the unique round shape with the iconic head, Pepe Saya is different because it’s batch-churned from single origin cream.

How is Pepe Saya butter made?

First the cream is inoculated with a Lactobacillus culture (similar to that used for yoghurt) and set aside for 24 hours to culture and develop a lovely natural tang. Some of this crème fraîche (naturally soured cream) is then packaged and sold, the rest is aged for a month to further develop then churned to separate it into buttermilk (which makes the best scones!) and cultured butter. The butter is washed to remove any remaining buttermilk and then kneaded with salt for a smooth texture and great flavour. Finally it’s put into hand-pressed moulds to create the distinctive round shape and wrapped with the signature Pepe Saya head on the label.

Is Pepe Saya butter worth the money?

Apart from the quality and flavour of the butter, it’s worth paying for a product made from quality Australian cream supplied by farmers across south-eastern Australia with whom Pepe Saya builds direct relationships.

How do you use Pepe Saya butter?

Pepe Saya butter is great in sweet and savoury dishes across a wide range of cuisines. See the recipes above for starters.

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