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Jun 25

Meet the Chef: Mark Steuer, Viva La Rev Group

Meet the Chef: Mark Steuer, Viva La Rev Group

Mark Steuer

One of the most sought-after events during the NRA show is the annual Share Our Strength BBQ, held at the Navy Pier. Chicago’s culinary stars come out to shine in support of the fight against child hunger in America, and True Aussie Beef & Lamb were proud to do our bit as a sponsor. We are doubly proud of the fantastic food our chef partners created, both Frontier’s Chef Brian Jupiter and Mark Steuer of the Viva La Rev Group. Chef Jupiter’s Aussie Grassfed beef short rib, Jup's Mac, spicy coffee bbq, Haitian pikliz were a huge hit! Just as popular was Chef Mark’s lamb creation, “mint rubbed lamb sirloin, spicy lamb sausage with cucumber yogurt, smoked red onion and preserved lemon.”

We caught up with Chef Mark to get the scoop on his dishes:

“I think in the back of my mind I was thinking about gyros, one of my favorite lamb dishes,” said Mark. “Those flavors of lemon, mint, parsley, cucumber and yogurt are just made to go with lamb, so I tried to come up with a creative way to incorporate them into a really flavorful bite for the BBQ.”

“The lamb sirloin I kept really simple, seasoning it and rubbing it with mint before cooking it sous vide for 4 hours. With the shoulder, we made a greek-style sausage and just rendered it down until it was crispy. All those little elements, from the smoked onions to the preserved lemon and a dollop of greek yogurt, all combine to give you that classic Mediterranean flavor profile, but in one bite.”

Lamb has long been a steady part of Chef Mark’s menus, whether at Hot Chocolate, the Bedford, or Carriage House. He says lamb has an appeal as something different and special for guests, and Aussie Lamb’s pasture fed appeal gives the waitstaff a powerful selling tool. “Being able to tell a story about grassfed or pasture-raised at the table is really effective, especially when you’ve given the staff a taste,” says Mark. “They can speak to the clean, mild flavor and speak to how it was raised, which more people are interested in all the time.”

“Personally, I like my meat a bit more on the rarer side,” adds Chef Mark, “the leanness and pure taste of a quality product like Australian Lamb works really well that way – with simple seasoning, a quick sear, maybe use the drippings for the sides, and you’re good to go.”

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