Whistler's Best Steak

SIDECUT, at the Four Seasons Whistler, might just have the best steak in town. We talked with the chef de cuisine about why his restaurant is so special.

Photo: Robin O'Neill

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When did you become the Chef de Cuisine at Sidecut?

I opened Sidecut two years ago now, been here since the beginning: it’s birth into existence.

What’s the story?

It’s kind of unique: we wanted to embody Whistler and give ourselves an identity, a signature, a notoriety. We we’re a little lost in limbo. I began to research grilling everything over a wood-fired grill. We asked ourselves, “how can we make steak exciting and interesting? We wanted the locals to have flavorful food, an exciting dining experience, great wine, great steak, and great fish. That was the vision and goal.

What’s your culinary background?

Most recently, I was the chef at a restaurant on a small island in the West Indies. Before that, Beverly Hills—The Boulevard with Chef Scott. I’ve studied in Paris France, and in Vietnam, studying the French Classical influence on Vietnamese cuisine. I started traveling the world. When I came back, I was on a Food Network show. I’ve learned at independent restaurants— you have to master your craft or you’ll fail. No matter how exquisite you are as a chef, if you can’t connect with an audience, you’ll lose ‘em. Dummy down your skills and do something that the average person can do.

You’re well known for your rubs. Have you brought that signature to Sidecut?

The first rubs I made spawned from my travels all over the world. I arrived in Whistler from the Carribean, so some of my rubs were called Lemon Buddha and Carribean Jerk. I was really excited about fresh fish and living off the earth, on what’s local and bubbling with passion.

Do you work exclusively with steak?

My true passion is fish and seafood. We are a modern steakhouse. Different than a traditional steakhouse; we like to showcase Canada’s protein: fish, lobster, scallops, prawns, Peace River Venison, meat from Pemberton’s North Arm Farms. There is a lot of local food in Vancouver, Lillooet, Pemberton, Howell Sound, and local rivers.

What’s special about Sidecut?

We’re all about dry aging. I researched the concept heavily before we started. We take the beef and hang it in a tempered, controlled environment. This concentrates the flavor, and allows the meat to naturally break down and become more flavorful and tender. It evolves into a nice cherry, deep red, marbled texture. When you eat it, it’s just an explosion of flavor and a combination of tenderness and exquisite experience. If you don’t like Steak, I guarantee I can turn you into a steak lover.

See Edison’s recipe for Endive & Watercress Salad, with Baked Lady Apple and shaved Manchego here.