Photo: flickr: djnordic
Forget wondering where the Vegas Strip steak comes from, or how experts found it. Just concentrate on one thing — how you’re going to try it.The new cut of steak was in development for two years before it was introduced to the meat industry at the Protein Innovation Summit in Chicago last April. Meat specialists Tony Mata and Jacob Nelson, along with Chef Rick Gresh (of Chicago’s David Burke Primehouse) had a dinner to tout the low-cost cut as a flavorful addition to menus and distribution lists across the country.
But how do you get it on those menus and lists?
We spoke with Nathan Stambaugh, the Vegas Strip’s National Sales Manager for Creekstone Farms. The Kansas-based company produces and distributes Black Angus beef to restaurants and suppliers around the country. Stambaugh is in charge of making sure all his company’s clients hear the good news of the Vegas Strip.
“It’s really a pasture to plate story,” he told Business Insider.
First, Creekstone employees had to learn how to cut and utilise the Vegas Strip themselves. The cut, says Stambaugh, is like a lower cost version of the New York Strip (thus the name). Once Creekstone employees became Vegas Strip experts, the company started rolling it out to customers (their first was Rick Gresh at David Burke’s Primehouse).
That process started just this month, and they’ve already got some high profile distributors, butchers and chefs buying the new cut. They sold cuts to Chicago-based high end meat distributors, the Allen Brothers, for one, and just this week, Stambaugh sold to legendary New York City meat purveyor Pat LaFrieda. Creekstone has been working with him for 6 or 7 years.
Here’s how he get the heavy hitters on board — Stambaugh travels around the country to Creekstone distribution offices and teaches sales people about the Vegas Strip and how to cook it (he suggests a quick sear on a grill or pan). The sales people then set-up a tasting interested local chefs and/or meat purveyors who will then, hopefully, put it on their menu.
“This is the perfect steak,” said Stambaugh, “it eats really well, cooks really well… and is very versatile… I’m guessing in the next two months you’ll see it on a lot more menus, but for now it’s in the roll-out stage.”
If you do happen to see as you’re sitting down to a meal, it will be thanks, in part, to Stambaugh’s tireless tasting. He says he follows wine specialists around the country too, so that his steak business lunches are paired with a nice red.
“I eat a lot of fish for dinner,” he said.
We can imagine.