The Webernets

KEN Mode’s Andrew LaCour Tells You How to Cook a Steak JUST Right

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The members of KEN Mode are wicked interesting cats. Brothers Jesse and Shane Matthewson’s parents are both accountants and Shane has a CPA degree himself, a skillset that’s come in quite handy in running the day-to-day operations of the band. Meanwhile bassist Andrew LaCour — who lives not in Winnipeg with the brothers Matthewson but in Charlottesville, VA when the band isn’t touring — has spent years working his way up the command chain in restaurant kitchens, and the members of KEN Mode’s touring party are all too happy to benefit from his carefully honed kitchen skills when out on the road.

Decibel recently spoke with LaCour about all things food, and the man’s got a lot to say about what it’s like to work in corporate restaurant kitchens, how he learned to cook, his favorite dishes, the current “foodie” trend and more. For example: smoking a 168-pound tuna his dad caught last summer! And, for something more of us can directly relate to, how to grill the perfect steak, which he says is one of the most difficult things to do (and we concur):

… what do you think is probably the most difficult dish to make?
Probably grilling a perfect steak; to actually get it perfect. So many people either don’t cook it long enough or cook it too long or choose shitty cuts of meat and combine that with either messing with it or cutting it wide open and not letting it rest right after they finish cooking it… I could go on. In general, being able to be patient and cook a perfect steak is pretty difficult.

How do you tell when a steak is perfect?
Well, the way I learned from working in restaurants is actually by touching it; poking the meat, literally. It sounds so ridiculous, but you can get to the point where you’ve cooked it so many times that you can poke it and be like, “All right, that’s still rare,” or “That’s medium rare.” But in general, you can always go by certain time and temperature standards. You can be like, “Ok, this piece is two inches thick and at medium-high heat, it takes three minutes per inch, per side to become medium rare.” You can actually stick to that and by touching it, you can feel tell how tense it is because the longer it cooks it’ll be tense and won’t have a give when you touch it.

LaCour plans to open up a barbecue restaurant with his dad and sister in the not-too-distant future. Is it too early for me to reserve a table now?

Read the full interview with LaCour at Decibel.

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