Kane's Young Executive Chef Takes His Steak Seriously (Part 2)
New Times: You've worked for several iconic steakhouses here, what do you think of the Miami dining scene?
Daniel Ganem: I think we are in a growth spurt here. Right now we are at the point where we are getting amazing chefs into Miami. We had Michael Mina come and then Laurent Torondel and Alfred Portale. We also have Jose Andres coming in 2012.
Where will Kane go?
Hopefully everything goes good and we start expanding. This year we have a few special events. We are doing a Paradise Farms dinner, we'll be in Best of the Best at South Beach Wine and Food and also BBQ and Blues. Little by little we are building our reputation as one of the steakhouses to be at.
Can you tell us a little about Kane's meat sourcing?
We get it from a company in New York that also does the Strip House in New York and Michael Jordan's steakhouse. It's one of those things that makes us unique. Many people here get from local sources but ours comes from New York. When I was a chef in Bolivia I tasted real organic food. You go to the market and you see really 'ugly' food, but then when you taste it you think 'oh my god, this is what I've been missing all my life.' So maybe you see this really big beautiful strawberry and then over there is this small 'ugly' strawberry, but then you taste it and it's so sweet. They have so many different types of mangos and potatoes and things like that. Here we lack some of that. I wish we had more fresh markets around.
Do you have qualms if someone comes in and asks for their meat extra well done?
The guest can have their meat however they like it. If that's what they want we go all the way for them.
What do you think of chefs that perhaps refuse to even serve meat at that temperature?
At the end, the guest is the one that come in. Thanks to them I have a job and get to have fun playing with food, so they can have it however they wish.
You're probably the only steakhouse to serve crispy fried seaweed as a side dish, you don't usually see that on the menu. How did it come to be?
So the owners, they really liked the dish, they had tried it elsewhere. I had tried it, but I wasn't too fond of it before. We tried to make it, trying to get to what they had tasted. We made it and it was so good. And then we started digging into it and really thought it was even better than the original. We thought it was great so we put it on the menu. So that's how it happened.
So that's how it ended up next to those amazingly crispy onion rings?
Yes. Oh yeah those onion rings are really good. We put a special ingredient in it.
What's the special ingredient?
It's a mystery ingredient.
A mystery? We love a mystery, please tell us more (Ganem gives in after a few moments of begging and eyelash batting).
Okay, I'll tell it to you though. I put a little bit of potato flour into the batter. That's what makes them so crispy. No beer or anything like that, just some potato flour. Sometimes you go into another restaurant and the onion rings are soggy or not that crispy, but here they are so crispy and really, really good.
What exactly is in that Kane sauce?
That Kane sauce came about when we were playing around with flavors. The Glazier Group is steakhouse savvy. One day Peter Glazier sat down with me and said 'you know, I love the Peter Luger sauce.' So I thought okay, I'm gonna try and do something with this. The Peter Luger sauce recipe is super ultra secret. I tried a bit of ketchup and a bit of maple syrup, a little tamarind. Whenever I do recipes I keep careful notes of what I put in what I take out what I don't take out. It was so cool, at the end it was so good, it was right on the dot.
Any tips for the home chef when cooking steak?
Sometimes a home steak tends to salt the steak and season it too far in advance of cooking it and that dries out the meat. Be sure to season it just a few seconds before cooking it. Also, you have to put it in a hot pan. Many times home cooks put the steak in a cold pan and then all the juices start coming out and you never get that nice crust where the sugars of the steak caramelize.
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