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Three Thousand Steaks

October 2, 2018

Official Yelp Events make dreams come true. Working to organize these affairs with local businesses is one of my favorite parts of the job. Sometimes the dreams are mine. Sometimes they belong to members of the Yelp community. And on occasion, a business owner has a vision of the event they would like to host. Although usually it’s a collaborative process.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you know that I’ve developed a relationship with the New York Beef Council over the last year. Let me just tell you, it has been a fantastic learning opportunity.

It’s true that I may not always see eye to eye with the beef producers on everything that they do. However, they are open to having these respectful conversations, and eager to share their love for raising cattle.

On this last outing we went to Trowbridge Farms in Ghent, where Phil Trowbridge told us more about collecting, delivering, and selling units of bull semen than any of us knew before. Right now I’m doing my best to try to forget.

And while we were touring his farm, Jean O’Toole, the NY Beef Council Executive Director was back at the barn grilling more than thirty Certified Angus Beef (CAB) New York Strip steaks for the Yelpers who made it out to the farm and the entire Trowbridge family. Phill raises CAB beef, but these came from Fred the Butcher in Clifton Park, and not directly from Phil’s cooler.

Of all the things we got to experience, for me, these grilled steaks were the most surprising.

Often for these Official Yelp Events I will bring in multiple organizations, and I had wanted to bring in a local chef to prepare the steaks for this dinner. But Jean asked to do it herself. She said that it was “kind of her thing”.

So I went with it.

When we all arrived back from the tour, Jean had all the food set up buffet style. Including all the grilled steaks that were sitting and staying warm in a chafing dish. Panic, isn’t quite the right word. Concerned. Really, I was more concerned that the steaks would have overcooked being held in this warm environment.

For starters, we were a little late coming back from the tour. But also, the buffet line took probably about twenty minutes from the first person to the last. As the event organizer, I put myself toward the end of the line, and I thought that for sure my medium rare steak would be doomed.


The steak was pretty much perfect. I wish I had a picture of the interior. But not only were there well defined grill marks, the interior was perfectly pink from edge to edge. The steak was well seasoned, juicy, and tender. It felt like a steak miracle. After the meal, Jean led a seminar on grilling steaks, and I asked her how she did the impossible. Her answer?

Three thousand steaks.

She does this all the time. And that’s how you get to be an expert at pretty much anything. At some point in the past, I mentioned my own skill at making scrambled eggs. But this is pretty much how culinary school works. When you have to dice a thousand onions, you’ll find that at the end, you’re pretty darn good at it.

The other secret was taking the steaks off the grill at an internal temperature of 125, since she knew they were going to be in the warm holding dish for up to thirty minutes.

While I may not have been able to articulate this before, one of the reasons my family doesn’t eat more steak is that I do find cooking it to be stressful. Overcooking a steak can be tragic. And while I have meat thermometers, I’m not in the practice of using them for grilling.

However, I got to do a hands on demo with Jean on Sunday, and now my own confidence is on the rise. I’m not sure how we’ll work steaks into family dinner. The wife and kids all have different ideas about what constitutes a good meal, but maybe I can try to work this into the rotation.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tone permalink
    October 4, 2018 12:42 pm


    At the recommendation of Daniel, I am here in the comments of his great blog looking for some upstate NY food advice!

    I have heard that Mr. Dave’s Rochester meat sauce recipe is top notch and would love to get the recipe. Obviously, his site is locked and I have no way to reach him. Does anyone have the recipe or a way to contact Mr. Dave? Or if anyone has a tried and true recipe for fantastic meat sauce, that would be wonderful. Thank you so much, Daniel and everyone for your help!

    • llcwine permalink
      October 5, 2018 9:26 am

      I used to read Mr. Dave’s blog all the time…anyone know why it’s locked down?

      • October 5, 2018 10:46 am

        He does this periodically. Usually it’s later in the winter. But I hear the climate is changing.

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