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Tips & Tricks

The Perfect Steak

Acclaimed chef, cookbook author and culinary personality George Mendes brought elevated Portuguese cooking to New York City when he opened his acclaimed restaurant ALDEA in 2009. In 2015, he followed it up with his more casual spot Lupulo. When he’s not in chef whites, George can be found dining at Southeast Asian joints around the city, cooking simple & wholesome meals at home in Manhattan, running in the park and fly-fishing whenever & wherever he can.

Cooking Tips
From the Pros

While whole books have been written on the subject of grilling, by following just a few essential steps you can prepare prime cuts that have all the mouth-watering flavour you expect from a top-notch steak. Here, Four Seasons chefs from Hualalai and Vail  offer steak cooking tips for the home chef, along with recipes for a tasty sauce and side dish.

Executive Sous – Chef at Hualalai Grille at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai:
“For great steak flavour, the key is to use a good cut of beef and season it well. I like using Hawaiian sea salt. After cooking the steak, let it rest five minutes before cutting—this helps the steak to hold the flavour and juices.”

Jason Harrison, executive chef at Flame at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail: “Quality is the major key here: Look for prime beef with lots of marbling and then just highlight the flavour of the meat. I use fleur de sel, freshly ground black pepper and a little herb oil. The only thing as important as the quality of the meat is the heat of the grill—with a good infrared grill you can get temperatures in the 700 degree F to 850 degree F range, which is perfect, because you are trying to caramelise the exterior of the meat and get a good ‘crust’ on the outside.”

Additional Recipes

Mix Together The Following:

  • 1 ounce chopped garlic
  • 1 ounce chopped shallots
  • 4 ounces chopped parsley
  • 1 ounce chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon Sambal chilli paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • Salt to taste


Heat butter in a heavy-bottomed pot until foamy. Add seasoned flour while whisking and cook for 4 minutes. Add milk and bring to a slow simmer while whisking. Simmer for 2 minutes. Shut off the heat and add grated cheese and serrano peppers; whisk thoroughly until melted.

Place boiled al dente macaroni into a round casserole container. Cover liberally with warm cheese sauce and grated cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F until cheese starts to brown.

Want more recipes? Visit Taste to see how the Four Seasons chefs in Texas prepare their best steaks.


Cheese Sauce
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons seasoned flour (see below)
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups grated aged cheddar, plus extra for topping
6–8 pieces serrano peppers, seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled, peeled, seeded, minced

Seasoned Flour
Mix together:
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt, finely ground

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked al dente