A bunch of Beijing restaurants with Canadian owners, managers or chefs will participate in Grade-Eh Week from June 25 to July 1 by featuring foods with a Canuck theme on their menus (more details here). One of these is The Cut restaurant at Fairmont Hotel. Canadian chef Marcus Routbard explains, via email, this year’s focus on Alberta beef, his cowbell use, and more.
What is your item for Canada Grade-Eh Week?
The Cut will be featuring Canadian beef sourced from Spring Creek Ranch in Alberta. I’m super excited about this because it’s the first time we’ve been able to get fresh Canadian beef in Beijing legally since 2003. I’ve been working with the embassy to get this stuff in ever since I’ve been here and it’s delicious. We will be featuring the beef tenderloin, rib eye steak and New York strip. All will be cooked on our grill by our team of chefs — and we do a darn good steak here.
What is the one food / restaurant you miss most from back home?
Two foods I miss the most… One is fish and chips: I used to buy it down at the docks when the fishing boats would come in with a fresh catch in the spring and summer. The other is poutine: fries, gravy and cheese curds.
What is the one Chinese food / restaurant you like most in Beijing?
The Chinese restaurant I frequent most is Din Tai Fung. It’s consistently good and family friendly for my young son.
Who are the most famous Canadian guests you’d had in The Fairmont?
Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion, Neil Young, Jim Carey, Snow, the dude from Wayne’s World, Da Shan, Norman Bethune… OK, now you know I’m lying. Uh, we did a few dinners with the Ambassador. He’s pretty famous.
You have Alberta beef on the menu, but have you ever used a cowbell (see photo above)?
Is the beaver nature’s most industrious semi-aquatic rodent? Of course! When I was working in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, I broke out the cowbell during rhythm gymnastics.
If you could bring any Canadian restaurant / franchise to Beijing, which one would you choose, and why?
Easy, Tim Horton’s. It’s the first place I go when I go back to Vancouver. They have one right in the airport. Timbits and a coffee, no other food says home to me.
The Cut with have the following slabs of Alberta beef available: 250-gram New York strip loin at rmb375, 220-gram and 280-gram filet mignon at rmb425 and rmb525 respectively, and 280-gram rib eye at rmb400. The Cut is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 6 PM to 10pm, and for brunch from 11:30 AM to 3 PM on Sundays. The Fairmont will also be catering the CCBC Canada Day party, have a fantastic brunch on July 1 and feature Canadian beef specials throughout July — more details here.