It's been a minute since the Foodbeast editorial team has been together in the same room outside of our office.
With dynamic and busy travel production schedules, like eating pasta in Verona, or all-you-can-eat riblets at Applebee's, hosting Noodle festivals, or revisiting Hooters to see how men interact with the boobsteraunt in the current social climate -- we rarely get to sit and cook together.
Thank goodness for a chance delivery of steaks to Elie's house. If there's one thing everyone on our writing team can bond over, it's a good ole fashioned steak. Boy do we love steak.
Foodbeast team members Reach, Constantine, Isai, and myself all posted up for the day at Elie Ayrouth's bachelor pad.
Elie, who pretty much just goes home to sleep, only had the bare essentials for us to work with in the kitchen.
Though mad appreciative of the burrito-busting writer lending us his house and kitchen for the day, we couldn't help but wish we had a few things items and gadgets to make our lives just a tiny bit easier in the kitchen.
Working with raw meat all day, and pounding away at a laptop can be tricky. You're not going to want to keep rewashing your hands over and over again. Some disposable gloves would have saved us a ton of water and paper towels throughout the day.
There a few things you don't really need to scrimp out on when it comes to the kitchen. A good knife is one, and a good vegetable peeler is another.
We set aside some pots and pans to help defrost the frozen meat. Unfortunately, we needed to use some of that cookware after a while. Having a few defroster trays on deck would have freed up some.
Since we pretty much needed the meat to defrost ASAP, Costa also recommended a Thaw Claw. The purpose of the claw holds down the frozen meat and submerges it under water – allowing it to thaw several times faster.
You want the meat fully submerged because it gives you an even distribution of "heat" to help thaw out the meat not just more evenly, but more quickly since water absorbs and gives off heat very well compared to air.
It's nice having a food scientist on deck in the kitchen. Everyone should get one.
Arguably one of the most extra appliances we've seen so far, this onion chopper takes the tears and the mess out of dicing one of the most essential ingredients. It'll also store the onions for you for future use.
Reach came across a problem when he was making his purple cauliflower puree. He boiled it too long.
I wish we had a steamer, because boiling this cauliflower took a lot of the color out.
While the dish still looked and tasted phenomenal, that extra vibrance would have added that extra bit of pop to Reach's dish. Still, not bad.
There were a few knife options in Elie's kitchen. For presentation purposes, however, we would have loved to have some steak knives on deck to slice through the meat like butter.
I think Reach made his cauliflower puree in a blender, but a multi-functioned food processor would probably have given him less of a headache.
Whether we were roasting Brussel sprouts, artichokes, or a giant slab of tri-tip, a roasting oven would have saved us a ton of time switching back and forth from the kitchen oven.
Constantine's mushroom sauce was easily one of the highlights of the day's cooking session. One of the steps he took was flambeing the sauce.
Unfortunately for Elie, we didn't have a fire extinguisher on had in the event Costa burned the house down. Should probably add one to the list for good measure.
Bacon-wrapped beef medallions as stunning as the ones Constatine prepared were 99 percent perfect. All they really needed were some skewers to hold the bacon together with the beef.
Snap n Strain
Where was this when I was growing up? The Snap and Strain would have really helped keep those stray mushrooms and broccoli florets from falling into the sink while I was on vegetable duty.
A crucial element to cooking meat is to know when it's ready, as to not over cook it. Having a meat thermometer on hand would have given us that safety net we needed to know when to pull our beef from the heat.
We pretty much just eyeballed it.
Five guys in a kitchen can get pretty crowded. Elie only had two cutting boards for us to work with: one for raw meat and the other for vegetables. Just having a few extras would have helped.
In Elie's back yard, there was actually a pretty solid gas grill we threw the flap and picanha cuts in. No complaints there. I just want one for myself now.
While our lives would have been much easier with these appliances, I have to say, our results did not look too shabby. You can read more about our exports that day (along with some stunning photography by yours truly) in a post soon to come.