Meat Picks | 10.10.14

Chef’s Hall of Fame

The next inductions to the Chef’s Hall of Fame will take place at Castle Nightclub on Thursday, October 16th at the annual fund raising benefit for the Chicago Culinary Museum.2014CulinaryHallofFame

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s honorees are:

Chef of the Year, Chef Stephanie Izard –Chef/Partner Girl & the Goat, The Goat, James Beard award winner, Top Chef Season 4 winner and cookbook author.

Pastry Chef of the Year, Chef Gale Gand –Former Food Network Sweet Dreams host, cookbook author, James Beard award winner, co-owner of TRU and the newly opened Spritz Burger.

Industry Leader, Phil Stefani –Restaurateur of more than 15 restaurants and private event venues including: Tuscany, Riva, Crystal Gardens, Chango Loco, Navy Pier Beer Garden, Castaways, The Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier, Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, Phil Stefani Signature Events and Tavern on Rush.

Legendary Chef, Chef Michael Kornick –Chef/Partner DMK Restaurants: DMK Burger Bars, Fish Bar, Ada Street, County Barbecue, DMK Burger & Fish and Henry’s Swing Club.

Industry Legend, Larry Levy –Founder of Levy Restaurants, an internationally recognized specialized food service organization with market leading share of high-end sports and entertainment facilities throughout North America and Europe and network of restaurants.

25 local restaurants will be serving at the event, which also includes an open bar, DJ and silent auction. (Buedel Fine Meats is proudly donating a shopping spree to our online store for the auction.) There’s still time to buy tickets here.

Book Virgin

VH ChicagoIt is official, Virgin Hotels Chicago is now taking reservations for 2015. From the iconic messaging, “calling them rooms is like calling the Space Shuttle an airplane” (they call them chambers), to the dedicated Step Outside pages on their website filled with food, attractions and stores to see outside of the hotel, VH Chicago is in full marketing mode.

Located in the heart of the Chicago Loop, the hotel took over the 27 story Dearborn Bank Building on the corner of Wabash & Lake –Virgin also restored and recreated the architectural features of the historic 1928 Art Deco landmark.

VH Chicago2The impending roster of food and spirits is equally inviting: Miss Ricky’s (American diner), Two Zero Three (coffee and wine bar), Common’s Club (a breakfast, lunch and dinner social club where “everyone’s a member”) and The Rooftop Bar.

We wish all the best to Virgin Hotels Chicago and Executive Chef Rick Gresh.

From the desk of John Cecala || Website  LinkedIn   @BuedelFineMeats  Facebook

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The Vegas Strip Steak

Vegas Strip RawYou may not know who Tony Mata is, but I’m sure you’ve heard of Flat Iron Steak, a cut he discovered years ago. Mata’s most recent discovery is a new type of strip steak.

Antonio (Tony) Mata is a meat scientist, product development specialist and self-proclaimed Meat Geek®. A native of Mexico, he studied at the University of Arizona where he earned his Ph.D. in agricultural biochemistry and nutrition. Dr. Mata has been involved in adding value to the carcass for most of his professional career.

A Cut is Born

In 2012, Mata was searching new ways to glean value added beef cuts, in conjunction with the Oklahoma State University Food & Agricultural Products Center. Through research, he discovered a new cut of beef from the shoulder, or chuck, normally used to make ground beef. Using non-staVegas Strip Cut Outndard butchering procedures for loin seams – a big outside the box move – he was able to discover the new cut.

The chuck is an inexpensive primal cut that by its nature contains a lot of connective tissue, fat, cartilage and gristle. Dr. Mata’s butchering procedure, since patented, was to trim the bad from the good and yield a tender cut of meat, he ultimately trademarked as The Vegas Strip Steak®. Delivering tenderness, flavor and visual appeal, the steak weighs in at about 14 oz and can easily be cut into smaller portions.

Vegas Strip TendernessTenderness  It is tenderness that is the most important characteristic in a beef cut; it is also the most challenging to deliver. The tenderness of the Vegas Strip Steak® is on par with the New York Strip Steak. It does not require aging or marinating to achieve desired tenderness.

Flavor  Steak flavor can vary across cuts, and steak lovers are dedicated to their favorites. The Vegas Strip Steak® offers universal appeal and solid steak flavor that satisfies any beef craving.

Appearance While tenderness and flavor matter most, visual appeal can enhance the overall enjoyment of steaks. The Vegas Strip Steak® portions beautifully and can be grilled, pan fried, roasted or smoked; it works well in just about any presentation a chef may wish to plate.

Vetting the Vegas

Vegas Strip by Rick GreshDr. Mata worked side-by-side with Chicago’s very own Chef Rick Gresh to validate product performance, establish target specifications, develop and identify menu possibilities and confirm profit potential. Chef Gresh, highly excited about the opportunities the steak would bring to menus, regularly features The Vegas Strip Steak® at David Burke’s Primehouse in Chicago.

The Vegas Strip Steak® is available exclusively through specially appointed partners of Creekstone Farms Premium Black Angus Beef. (In the Midwest, Buedel Fine Meats is the branded Creekstone Farms partner.) Affordably priced, it wholesales for under $7/lb, which in comparison to steaks cut from the strip loin, rib eye and/or tenderloin, delivers remarkable value.

Round Up

blogcollage2If you haven’t tried The Vegas Strip Steak® yet, but it sounds familiar, the cut was most recently showcased on BBQ Pitmasters. (Buedel Fine Meats is the current season’s chosen meat provider.) When the Lone Star Smoke War episode aired, the BBQP judges referenced Dr. Mata, but just one of the Pitmasters competing that day had heard of or cooked a Vegas Strip Steak® before then. Yet, all the pitmasters fired them up to perfection and loved their visual and tender flavor rendering.

Dr. Mata done good!

From the desk of John Cecala || Website  LinkedIn  @BuedelFineMeats  Facebook

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Meat Picks | 8.29.13

The Handwich is Here! 

BurkeBaconBar1Chef Rick Gresh first told us about the impending debut of the “Handwich” (a slider sized sandwich you can hold with one hand) in June. It officially arrived last week when Burke’s Bacon Bar opened for business directly adjacent to David Burke’s Primehouse in the James Hotel on Rush Street.

Niman Ranch pepper bacon, chicken liver bacon, Chinese bacon, bacon crumbs, bacon “kraut” and more, are staples to the new Handwich menu. There is a vegetarian version, to which bacon can be added, and as promised, Spam is on the menu because Spam is bacon, according to Chef Gresh.

Burke’s Bacon Bar, complete with a street side walk-up window, is open Sunday-Friday from 11-2 am and Saturdays till 3 am.

Buzz-worthy Bun-dling 

SonicBunWe recently came upon our first sighting of branded buns at Fatpour Tap Works in Wicker Park. This week we heard that Sonic is jumping on the bun branding bandwagon in an effort to boost sagging sales with local flair via college logos.

USA Today reports, localized burger chains have used this buzz spurning concept before, but this is the first time a major chain has done so. Made with tapioca starch and food colorings, the logos are steamed onto the buns just before serving. Colleges also make out on the deal through licensing and royalty fees.

Labor Day Quiz 

Trivia is always fun at friend and family get together s – especially when you know the answers. Here are three bites of knowledge you can use this weekend in honor of Labor Day (answers below):

1)    What day of the week was the first Labor Day celebrated?

2)    What is ironic about the two men that were credited with starting the holiday?

3)    What is another name for Labor Day?

LadieTailorStrike#1: The very first Labor Day was organized by the Central Labor Union and celebrated on Tuesday, September 5th in New York City in 1882. #2: Their last names were almost identical; Peter McGuire and Matthew Macguire. #3: The “Workingmen’s Holiday”.

Read more about Labor Day at the Department of Labor’s web pages.

From the desk of  John Cecala   @BuedelFineMeats   Fan Page   Slideshare

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Meat Picks | 6.13.13

CigarBQue

cigarsThere are still some tickets left for the 2nd annual CigarBQue slated for Friday, June 21st.

CigarBQue raises funds on behalf of the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation who helps impoverished communities where cigars are produced. Created by Executive Chefs (and friends), Rick Gresh,(Primehouse), Giuseppe Tentori, (Boca) and Cleetus Friedman, (Fountainhead), Gresh says they came  up    with the idea to do an event when they couldn’t logofind a good place to “get together to eat, drink and have cigars”. The trio hopes to expand their charitable concept to other cities in the future. See our full interview with Chef Gresh here.

Burger of the Month

PetetheButcherBurgerChicago’s prestigious Saloon Steakhouse honored Buedel Master Butcher, Peter Heflin, this month by creating the Pete the Butcher burger for their monthly promotion. The half pound prime grade burger, which comes topped with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, horseradish and smoked kielbasa, has patrons smacking their lips in total Saloon-style satiable satisfaction. “I am not worthy to be a part of the exploding Chicago burger movement in such an exquisite setting as Saloon Steakhouse,” Heflin reflected. “Thank you, Chef Boris!”

What is Local?

In preparing for the NRA Show last month, we put together some new cheat sheets for defining and buying “local”. Beyond distance, local is really more about: healthier eating, fresher foods, family farmers, environment, humane animal treatment and sustainable agriculture.BuedelLocalLogoTM

Our team also developed a logo to show local support. Please feel free to share and use!

New Addition

LWoodsChineseTakeOut2L. Woods Tap & Pine Lodge in Lincolnwood came up with a great idea – adding Chinese take out to their carryout business. Offering appetizers, fried rice and standard entrees such as Mongolian Beef and Kung Pao Chicken, L. Woods definitely delivers the best of everyone’s world. You can of course order online too.

Dads’ Day Out

Did you know that Father’s Day is the third biggest dining out hFathersDauoliday after Mother’s Day and Valentines Day? According to the National Restaurant Association, it is estimated that 50 million Americans will take dad out for a meal this Sunday. Going to “Dad’s favorite” is the leading factor in deciding restaurant choice.

Happy Father’s Day!

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From the desk of John Cecala  Twitter@BuedelFineMeats Facebook BuedelFanPage

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