Sawing into restaurants
CBS Foodtech shares an article that was published in raremedium magazine issue 18 LUXE from 11 April 2022. It shows renowned Chef Lennox Hastie using his Kolbe K220 band saw at his restaurant Firedoor.
Firedoor is the celebrated restaurant, in Surry Hills, awarded by The Sydney Morning Herald with two Chef’s Hats, where Lennox and his team “push the limits of traditional open flame cooking and breathe new life into the meaning of barbecue”. Where cuisine is cooked over seasoned wood coals at open wood grills.
With 121,000 followers on Instagram and reservations booked three months in advance, this chef is in hot demand.
Hastie believes steak reaches its full potential through the passage of time — at Firedoor beef is aged anywhere between 150–300 days.
Not everyone welcomes crying in their restaurants, but at Firedoor they’re used to it (in a good way). Their signature steak has brought more than a few diners to tears, Massimo Bottura among them. After the Italian chef wept with joy eating his steak, Lennox Hastie smuggled one back to him when he went to Modena to visit.
You might have seen Hastie on Chef’s Table talking about the work he put into developing a program for ageing his meat for unusually long periods of time. Post drought and pandemic he now sources beef across different producers.
“Right now, we’re running 260-day dry-aged and 150-day dry-aged,” Hastie says, “last month we had 300-day aged full-blood wagyu — rich and buttery but with a complex sour cherry and spice flavour that I find more redolent in wine.”
And like wine, this beef can be enjoyed young, Hastie says, though it’s the passage of time that really raises it to full potential. He chooses the rib-sets for ageing, grading them on appearance, taste, touch and smell, picking out well-marbled sets before testing their pH to confirm their suitability for extended ageing.
Steaks at Firedoor are cut to order on a K220 Kolbe bandsaw and grilled over grape vines or spent wine barrels.
Hastie dries the sides for two weeks, renders the fat down from the animal then paints the sides with that rendered fat, sealing any exposed meat, preparing them to age for between 150 and 300 days, depending on the animal size and how it ripens.
In service they’re cut to order and grilled over gnarled 80-year-old grape vines. A Spanish Flor de Sal is the only addition to the meat. “The rich flavour and texture is intrinsic to the animal, the ageing process, and grilling over an open wood fire,” Hastie says. “Each aged rib-set has its own unique flavour, ranging from hazelnuts, toasted popcorn, and aged sherry through to black truffle, foie gras, and parmesan.” The flavour even varies from one end of the steak to the other, much like a cheese. “The flavour is so complex that we serve it unadorned with a fresh salad or charred greens on the side to clean the palate. There are no condiments or sauces.”
A 260-day dry-aged Ranger’s Valley Black Market Rib Eye is the steak that brought Massimo Bottura to tears.
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