In celebration of January being National Meat Month, Ce Bian, corporate chef, Roka Akor, Chicago, served Wagyu and Prime Beef Flights. Ranging from $65 to nearly $300, the flights were designed in much the same way as a wine or beer flight, with the mildest of meats at the beginning and ending with a bold finish.
Born in China and raised in London, Chef Ce Bian spent much of his youth in his family-owned restaurant. His culinary background is worldly and extensive, with his first job working under Chef John Torode of Smiths of Smithfield in London’s meat market. He melds his love of meat and Asian cuisine in his new specialty beef flights.
The Japanese A5+ Wagyu Flight features a 3-oz serving of wagyu from three different prefectures: Miyazaki, Hokkaido and Yamaguchi.
“The Yamaguchi prefecture is the rare Takamori wagyu known as ‘drunken wagyu,’” says Chef Ce Bian. “It is provided by Iwakuni Farm.”
The Domestic Prime Flight includes three 6-oz. cuts: Prime New York strip, Snake River Farms filet and Snack River Farms wagyu sirloin with bone marrow. The bone marrow is served with a seasoned panko crumb topping.
“The filet (tenderloin) is known for being extremely tender with a clean, rich and buttery flavor,” he says. “The wagyu sirloin is known for being rich, very flavorful, and tender but with a firm texture.”
There’s also a Greater Omaha Prime Steak Flight of three 6-oz. seasoned cuts. It starts with a filet with chili ginger, followed by rib eye with wafu. Wafu is a Japanese salad dressing and sauce consisting of soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and vegetable oil. The flight ends with a New York strip with truffle aioli.
Steaks are cut in-house daily from freshly delivered primal cuts. The meat trim that remains after sizing the steaks is used to create the filling for the beef kimchi dumplings. Chef Ce Bian uses a carefully crafted blend of the different beef cuts to create this signature appetizer. It is served with a house-made soy vinaigrette.