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Whistler's Best Steak

Whistler's Best Steak

SIDECUT, at the Four Seasons Whistler, might just have the best steak in town. We talked with the chef de cuisine about why his restaurant is so special.
By Sally Francklyn
posted: 01/11/2012
edison: sidecut

When did you become the Chef de Cuisine at Sidecut?

I opened Sidecut two years ago now, been here since the beginning: it’s birth into existence.

What’s the story?

It’s kind of unique: we wanted to embody Whistler and give ourselves an identity, a signature, a notoriety. We we’re a little lost in limbo. I began to research grilling everything over a wood-fired grill. We asked ourselves, “how can we make steak exciting and interesting? We wanted the locals to have flavorful food, an exciting dining experience, great wine, great steak, and great fish. That was the vision and goal.

What’s your culinary background?

Most recently, I was the chef at a restaurant on a small island in the West Indies. Before that, Beverly Hills—The Boulevard with Chef Scott. I’ve studied in Paris France, and in Vietnam, studying the French Classical influence on Vietnamese cuisine. I started traveling the world. When I came back, I was on a Food Network show. I’ve learned at independent restaurants— you have to master your craft or you’ll fail. No matter how exquisite you are as a chef, if you can’t connect with an audience, you’ll lose ‘em. Dummy down your skills and do something that the average person can do.

You’re well known for your rubs. Have you brought that signature to Sidecut?

The first rubs I made spawned from my travels all over the world. I arrived in Whistler from the Carribean, so some of my rubs were called Lemon Buddha and Carribean Jerk. I was really excited about fresh fish and living off the earth, on what’s local and bubbling with passion.

Do you work exclusively with steak?

My true passion is fish and seafood. We are a modern steakhouse. Different than a traditional steakhouse; we like to showcase Canada’s protein: fish, lobster, scallops, prawns, Peace River Venison, meat from Pemberton’s North Arm Farms. There is a lot of local food in Vancouver, Lillooet, Pemberton, Howell Sound, and local rivers.

What’s special about Sidecut?

We’re all about dry aging. I researched the concept heavily before we started. We take the beef and hang it in a tempered, controlled environment. This concentrates the flavor, and allows the meat to naturally break down and become more flavorful and tender. It evolves into a nice cherry, deep red, marbled texture. When you eat it, it’s just an explosion of flavor and a combination of tenderness and exquisite experience. If you don’t like Steak, I guarantee I can turn you into a steak lover.

See Edison's recipe for Endive & Watercress Salad, with Baked Lady Apple and shaved Manchego here.

reviews of Whistler's Best Steak
I totally disagree with this review having just eaten at the restaurant last week. First, The Four Seasons had a very fine Pacific Rim restaurant a couple of years ago and inexplcably changed it for this. A fine restaurant is not a hamburger joint--"how do you want your burger?" When you are supposedly acquiring the West's best beef, there should be one best way to sauce and season each piece based on its inherant flavors and cooking technique. At this restaurant you are presented with a confusing set of more than ten diffrent rubs and sauces, each served in a tiny little bottle the size of a magic potion from a Harry Potter movie. The wait staff has to explain the flavor of each bottle and then you take out the little cork and pour it on or around your meat. The beef is good, but not Peter Luger or even Ruth Chris quality. The side dishes are routine and the "truffled" french fires had no truffle taste at all. I asked the server and she said they didn't want to fight the taste of the meat. OK, then don't charg extra.Most quality restaurants have spurned truffle oil as it is often a chemical copmosition rather than truly truffled from Alba. In fact when I asked about their truffle source, they said they came from China. All things considered, it is a fine mountain rstaurant, but Whistler has far better--Barefoot Bistro and Araxi come to mind.
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