Chef Knut Stanceslaus Mate is in the Kitchen, he is preparing one of his signature Grove T-Bone steak and he invites me into his ‘sacred’ usually out of bound ‘staff only’ kitchen to see him cooking. His unusual name ‘Knut’ is because in the year he was born, his dad won a treasury position the Kenya national union of teachers (Knut) elections in Kakamega, explains the Chef.
Watching Chef Knut, prepare the food is a therapeutic art. The steak meat is marinated at 8 degrees centigrade to ensure food safety. The marinade is a mixture of vinegar, olive oil, light soy source ginger, garlic and rosemary. “I bat the meat to tenderise it, then soak inside the marinade for 15 minutes,” says Chef Knut.
Meanwhile, the vegetables are blanched in hot water beginning with the long cooking baby corn, then the carrots, cauliflower and broccolli. The veggies are then blast chilled which is a method of cooling food quickly to a lower temperature in a safe way and also ensures that the veggies are crunchy and not overcooked.
There is intentionality in this kitchen about hygiene, the chefs are all wearing masks in the kitchen, “no touching of masks is allowed and chefs shower after every 4 hours” says Chef Knut. Crockery and cutlery are disinfected using Suma Dis (D4), a disinfectant suitable for food contact surfaces and guests eat in shifts to control the number of people seating in the restaurant. Tables are arranged diagonally to allow for adequate social distancing.
The aroma from the T-bone on the griddle catches my attention. It’s been sitting there for 3 – 4 minutes undisturbed and covered so as to retain its juices, explains the multi-talented chef. Did I mention that he is also a scriptwriter and choreographer? So he not only creates ‘mind to plate food art’ but he also finds art expression on theatrical stages and has won several awards in drama, poetry and traditional dance choreography.
Meanwhile, the fondant potatoes are peeled and blanched for 7 – 10 minutes in hot water that has garlic, ginger, salt and turmeric to season and give a yellow tinge colour. This is followed by a 4-5 minute deep fry to a golden brown colour and seasoned with salt before drying them.
The plating of the food is ready. Chef lays the prepared food beginning with the vegetables, proteins then the starch, subtle reminder of the the portion priorities one should take. Tiger marked, cherry tomatoes that were grilled alongside the steak provide stunning colour contrast to the food and a cream sauce provides a finishing touch.
The Grove T-bone steak
T-bone steak 250g
Olive oil 50ml
Lemon juice 50ml
Light soy sauce 15ml.
Bay marrow 20g
Red onions 15g
Fondant baked potatoes 120g
- Weigh all the ingredients and label
- Whisk together the marination ingredients for the T-Bone steak.
- Bat and marinate the steak for 15 minutes
- Cut and wash the vegetable with saline water for 5minutes and blanch all the vegetables.
- Peel and cut the potatoes in fondant shapes and bake at 180degrees for 20 minutes on a buttered rack.
- Grill the steak and toss the vegetables
- Correct seasoning and serve.