The National Restaurant Show just wrapped up last week in Chicago. This great show has been hosted by our city for 100 years, and in 2019, we celebrated the 100-year anniversary spectacularly! This year's show was the first show since the anniversary (thanks to COVID), so it was especially exciting to see what the latest and greatest products our industry has to offer.
Even though the show is not open to the public, we chefs find a lot of inspiration at this show. If you are in the restaurant or hotel industry, you have a vast network to exchange ideas with suppliers, vendors, and fellow hospitality people!
There are many networking events to attend, from celebrity chef demonstrations to seminars all about food and how to run a food business. It is an international show with hospitality people from around the world!
If you are wondering what some of this year's trends are, I saw a lot of plant-based products, products focused on sustainability and how to make our planet a better place, especially composting and recycling.
I have to say that as a small business in Chicago, The Chopping Block is already on the right track with these initiatives. We take our recycling and composting programs very seriously, and we love teaching our students how we can all take better care of Mother Earth.
We also get a chance to visit with some of our vendors at this show, and it was great to see our friends at Allen Brothers there.
Allen Brothers provides the beef for all of our cooking classes and private events, and our students often ask how we get such great quality meat. They have been the great steakhouse company since 1893 and deliver steaks for every taste. The good news is that you can also enjoy their beef at home by ordering directly through their website.
We'll be upping our orders with Allen Brothers now that our refurbished outdoor grilling patio officially opens this weekend. We still have spots available in some classes so tell a friend and get some grilling fun on your schedule for this weekend:
- Hands-On Rendezvous Under the Stars on the Patio Friday, June 3 6pm
- Hands-On Pizza on the Grill Saturday, June 4 10am
- Hands-On Fiesta on the Grill Saturday, June 4 6pm
If you do end up buying some Allen Brothers steaks (or steaks from your favorite local butcher), here's a delicious recipe for you to try on your grill.
Grilled Strip Steaks with Herb Compound Butter
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Active time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Two 12-ounce strip steaks
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat.
- Brush the steaks with grapeseed oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Grill over direct heat until well-marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Give the steaks a quarter turn to create diamond grill marks. Continue to cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until well-marked.
- Flip the steaks over and cook in the same fashion as the first side, until the steaks are cooked to your liking. An internal temperature of 125° is ideal for medium rare.
- Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and transfer to a platter.
- Top the sliced steak with “coins” of Herb Compound Butter (recipe follows) and set the platter on the grill with the lid closed for about 1 minute to soften the butter.
Note: Rib-eye and tenderloin steaks or filet mignon are also great for this recipe.
Herb Compound Butter
Yield: 4 servings
Active time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Top a piping hot steak, fish, potatoes, or vegetables with a pat of this compound butter.
1 stick butter, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, rough chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, rough chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix the butter with the garlic, parsley, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Roll into a tube using plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for one hour or until firm.
Alternatively, this butter can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Check out all of our grilling classes coming up in June and July!