ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to cook 250 filet mignons in one hour

Updated on February 20, 2010

Before I begin, let me say that I enjoy being a Chef. I'd have to. I really love creating menus and specials, organizing my mis-en-place and bringing together a band of misfits to dance together during a busy service. I love the frenetic pace of pushing out food so fast that I forget what I plated 5 minutes before. I love the interaction between myself and the front-of-house staff, no matter how heated it may get. It lets me know I'm alive. More importantly, it lets me know I'm needed! And what Chef wouldn't consider his or her favorite part of the day enjoying a post-dinner service drink with their fellow "Cookies"?

All that said, being a Chef is tough work. It's nothing like what you see on the Food Channel. All those Celebrity Chefs you see wearing pristine white jackets and taking one hour to make one dish? Yeah, half of them have never even worked "on the line." I'm not putting them down (with the exception of Rachel Ray - she's not a even worthy of the canned food she cooks with), but there are some that I have a lot of respect for. Those rare few have actually proven themselves by starting in the trenches and working their way up through hard work and dedication. I guess what I'm trying to elude to is that what you see on television is in no way a reflection of what working in a busy kitchen's like at all. I have twelve years worth of stories to share about just how difficult and taxing it can sometimes be. The following is one of those stories...


New Year's Eve, 2002. I had just been "stolen" away from a restaurant that had pigeon-holed me to prep-cook hell by a Chef that I met at a dessert competition. He had just started to work at a busy new upscale bar & grill and was desperate to put together his kitchen staff. He offered me a position as his Sous-Chef and I gladly accepted - two days before Christmas. Needless to say, I burned a bridge with the restaurant I was already employed at, but I had heard promises of a raise and promotion for far too long. So, I start working at the new bar & Grill the same day I quit at my former job, and was immediately asked to help plan a New Year's Eve menu. The Chef already had most of it put together, but just wanted a fresh set of eyes to make sure the menu was simple, yet offered enough of a choice and would be easy to execute (we were all new staff starting in an unfamiliar kitchen on one of the busiest restaurant nights of the year). Together, we made a few tweaks, and started preparing for dinner service of 300 people. New Years night before dinner service, we had a little pow-wow to see what stations each cook would work. It turned out that I had the most experience working the grill, so I was put in charge of cooking the Filet Mignon. I didn't have any problems with that choice because I knew I was strong on the grill and wanted to prove myself to my new Chef and Boss. By the end of the night, prove myself I would...

Would you ever want to work in an extremely busy kitchen?

See results




There were only four items on the menu for the night and we knew that the Filet Mignon would be a popular choice. Just how popular, we highly underestimated. The doors opened, and the appetizers started to flow out of the kitchen. Things were off to a great start. About 20 minutes after opening the doors, the first dinner tickets started coming in. "Fire on 2 filets - 1 medium, 1 medium-well!"

No problem Chef, I got this...

Two minute later, I heard "Walking in, 6 filets - 2 medium, 2 medium-rare, 1 rare and 1 well-done!"

Okay, now we're starting to dance a bit...

"Walking in, 4 filets - 3 medium, 1 medium-rare!"

Breathe Delaney... you can do this.

"Party of 8 walking in! 3 medium filet medium, 2 filets medium-well, 1 filet well-done! Call back please!"

Shit - getting buried. "Okay Chef, I've got 9 filets medium, 6 filets medium-well, 2 rare, etc..."

"Walking in, 4 more filets medium-well!"

Okay, at this point I was beginning to sweat. It was only 15 minutes into dinner service and I had about 45 filets going at the same time - all with different temperatures. Tickets were starting to literally fly in and I had to use every ounce of my cognative ability just to remember how many steaks I needed to cook.

"Walking in, party of 10! 9 filets, 3 well-done, 2 rare, 4 medium-rare! 1 Salmon!"

Hey People! We DO have other items on the menu!!!

"Next, fire 7 filets! 2 medium-well, 2 medium-rare..." you get the point.

To cut a 50 mintue long story short, I worked my ass off that New Year's Eve, and by the end of the evening, only had one steak come back. I had earned my reputation of being one of the fastest and most consistant grill-cooks in the valley (may sound concieted, but that reputation has followed me), and I went home that night reeking of smoke but feeling accomplished that I single-handedly managed to perfectly cook 250 filet mignons in less than an hour. Actually, 249. The guy who sent his steak back wanted his to be leather, so it's excused. Five filet mignons a minute... Beat that Rachel Ray!



Grilled Filet Mignon with Buerre Rouge


for the filet -

  • 4 eight ounce filet mignon (trimmed and peeled)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

for the Buerre Rouge -

  • 1/4 cup minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 lb. chilled butter (cut into one inch pieces)
  • 1 tbsp. manufacturing cream

for the grill -

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

Chop the garlic cloves and add to the olive oil and use to marinate the filet mignons for at least one hour. Meanwhile, saute the minced shallots in a heavy-bottomed sauce-pan until just translucent. Deglaze with the red wine and add the fresh thyme. Reduce the mixture by half and add the apple cider vinegar. Remove from heat and add the cream. Next, whisk in the chilled butter until fully incorporated. Hold in a water bath or bain marie on medium-low heat until reday to serve.

Over hot coals or the hot side of a gas grill, mark the filet mignons for about 4 minutes on both sides brushing with butter then transfer to a sheet-pan to finish in the oven. Cook to desired temperature then allow to rest for 6 minutes before serving. To plate, ladle the buerre rouge over the top of each filet and garnish as desired.

Come learn to cook with some of my Perfect Recipe hubs!

  • How to make Perfect Hollandaise - Great on Eggs Benedict, Asparagus and Poached Salmon, this recipe includes helpful videos and tips to assure you success!
  • How to make Perfect Demi-Glace - This is a great hub if you've ever wanted to make Demi-Glace at home. This easy to follow recipe is based on the classic Escoffier recipe taught to students throughout the world at Cordon Bleu certified schools.
  • How to make Perfect Pesto - Who doesn't love Pesto? Here's a recipe you can make at home in your blender or food processor in a matter of minutes! This hub also talks about the benefits of using a Mortar & Pestle, and provides handy links to shop for the right one.
  • Steamed Mussels in Garlic Saffron Broth - Truly, one of my favorite recipes. Mussels were one of the first things I ever learned how to cook, and this recipe was perfected over decades of experimenting with freshly caught Pacific Black Mussels.
  • How to make Perfect Meatballs - Try this authentic Sicilian recipe the next time you're in the mood for meatballs! This hub also includes some great tips for avoiding dried-out meatballs, and links to some great Italian cookbooks. Salud!
  • Cream of Roasted Butternut Squash Soup - One of my signature soups. This recipe can be served hot or cold, and is sure to be the best squash soup you'll ever taste!
  • Creamy Champagne Viniagrette - This easy to make viniagrette goes great as a dressing or a marinade, and is needed to make the Perfect Portobello Mushroom Appetizer. I gaurantee you'll love this one!
  • Chef Delaney's Perfect BBQ Spice Rub - Shhhh! Don't tell anyone, but here's my secret spice rub recipe. Alright, I guess you can tell your friends and family... but that's it! This rub goes great on anything you want to throw on the grill and is easy to make. Try this on ribs with my famous Smoked Peach and Chipotle BBQ Sauce and be prepared to be impressed!
  • Smoked Peach and Chipotle BBQ Sauce - Another Chef Delaney signature recipe, this sauce combines sweet, spicy and smoky flavors in perfect harmony to create a grilling sauce with just the right amount of stickiness, and a one of a kind flavor that will boost you from Backyard Chef to Grill-Master in no time!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      8 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Delaney what a marvellous Hub, but why did the one come back? And, Was that your dinner, but it got cold? Just kidding Bro Ha Ha Ha! So much for perfection eh?

      I love it buddy. Just joking around a little.

      Dave.

    • Delaney Boling profile imageAUTHOR

      Delaney Boling 

      8 years ago

      Thanks BFP! Some shifts can test a Cook's performance under fire (Valentine's Day and Mother's Day are the worst...), but it can also be rewarding as illustrated in this story. I may now be focused on writing and school, but my heart will always be in the kitchen...

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 

      8 years ago

      Terrific hub. I have always marveled at a chef's ability to get the food out. The pressure must be unbearable. Thanks for the recipe. It sounds fantastic.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)