Grant van Gameren is one of the most creative and talented chefs the city has ever produced, whose restaurants such as Bar Isabel put the Toronto culinary scene on the map. We asked the chef, now living in Prince Edward County, to check out the goods from the city’s indie butcher shops and give us his honest take on the best steak to take up to the cottage or throw on the backyard barbie this season.
All six are available for pickup, walk-in or pre-arranged at the local butcher shops.
WINNER: BESPOKE BUTCHERS
With locations across the city, Bespoke Butchers caters its offerings at each outpost to the neighbourhood around it, and offers wholesale and catering options as well. This strip loin steak in particular is perfectly thick and perfectly aged, according to van Gameren, who grilled all six in his own backyard: “Best tasting of the bunch!” says van Gameren. “Juicy and tender with just the right amount of age.” Bespoke carries a wide range of meat products at each of its locations, as well as a grocery selection that perfectly complements the offerings and turns any backyard barbecuer into a grill master.
“I appreciate a cut of meat that doesn’t skimp on the thickness. Juicy and tender.”
CAPRAE & SUIDAE (RUNNER UP)
“One of the best aged steaks. Fat ratio on point and great marbling.”
“I like when a high-quality steak is kept on the bone. Just the right amount of funk.”
STOCK IN TRADE
“Nicely aged with some good funk. Some delicious marbling and a good proportion of fat to meat ratio.”
“Grass fed and pretty lean. Make sure you cook it quick as it’s easily overcooked!”
“A pretty lean cut and grass fed to boot. Reminds you what beef is supposed to taste like.”