C&RB sat down with Mike Kasperek, Executive Chef at Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Twp., N.J., to discuss the menu strategy behind the club’s steakhouse, Restaurant 37.
Q: How long have you been at Forsgate CC? What is your background?
A: I have been a Forsgate for 9 years now. I started cooking as a young boy in the kitchen with my mom. I took 4 years of cooking classes throughout middle school and high school then I went to Pennsylvania culinary, currently the Le Cordon Bleu Program, to obtain my Associates degree. I then worked at Sheraton Hotels and assisted in opening Boulder Creek Steakhouse.
Q: What brought you here?
A: I was very interested in Country Club cooking when I met two other chefs who worked in clubs. Being able to have creative freedom while still using quality ingredients is a chef’s dream. So I jumped aboard.
Q: What was F&B like when you first came to Forsgate?
A: Food and beverage is always changing because we’re always keeping up with trends. When I first came to Forsgate, Restaurant 37 was serving banquet and grill food.
Q: Explain to me the menu concept behind Restaurant 37.
A: The menu concept behind Restaurant 37 is to deliver a level of quality that not everybody in town is doing. We use locally raised beef out of Lancaster, Pa., organic chicken, locally grown herbs and produceand it is all presented in a modern, but still simple format.
Q: How often does the menu change?
A: The menu changes seasonally and we run specials nightly.
Q: Tell me about some of the steak cuts you menu and what goes into sourcing these cuts.
A: A lot goes into sourcing the meats we use as there are certain characteristics that different cuts must have in order to be served at 37. The process starts with finding the right ranch raising the bulls. Then we look into a purveyor that uses the ranch. Next, we look into grading and cuts. It all comes down to details. Many purveyors may have cowboy steaks, for example, but how many have a full bone frenched? At Restaurant 37 members get the best cut and grading because each steak is hand cut and inspected. All the filets are center cut, too, and dry aging is done under controlled settings.
Q: How do you keep this menu interesting?
A: I believe delivering a quality product is the most important element. And for those who like something out of the box we offer nightly specials that are more cutting edge.
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