You know, because meat is life and GOOD meat is something we are always happy to savour. FACT’s Angela Beitz met with the man behind Butcher & Still’s impressive menu at the Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island. Here’s what Executive Chef Marshall Roth had to say about cooking philosophy, favourite foods and, of course, steak…

Looking for mind-blowing steak served with flare? Butcher & Still is your answer. The super sleek restaurant with its rustic, retro design inspired by a 1940s Chicago steakhouse is a real FACT favourite. Located off the lobby, the restaurant-bar has a capacity for over 250 guests, with both indoor and outdoor seating with a truly warm and intimate feel that other venues in the capital are lacking. The views of the city’s waterfront are amazing and we love all the memorabilia scattered throughout the venue. The food is the real star here though with seafood and steak options taking centre stage on a menu offering mainly mouth-watering meats and delicious treats from the sea. . Their prime-cut steaks are flown in from specially selected farms in the United States, including high-quality USDA natural Black Angus from Creekstone Farms in Kansas. We got the low down from Butcher & Still’s charismatic Executive Chef, Marshall Roth, on exactly what makes this place shine.

What is your philosophy with regards to cooking?
Cooking is the ultimate expression of art. It is really rare (note the steak pun) to find a medium that involves the five senses. Chefs are not just craftsmen or artisans; they are expected to offer patrons food that stimulate and surprise, find new ways to manipulate ingredients, and offer an emotional experience.

What was the approach to creating the menu for Butcher & Still?
My approach to creating the menu was to go back to the history of Chicago in 1920’s and 30’s and reflect items and dishes that were trending and served in that era. Butcher & Still’s menu showcases prime cuts of high-quality American meats, featuring USDA natural Black Angus from Creekstone Farms in Kansas. There is a 1,800-degree-Fahrenheit oven for searing, a charcoal grill and a smoker. An antique bread oven is a showpiece, baking fresh, aromatic Parker House rolls. Traditional American desserts include cheesecake, pecan pie and lemon meringue tart.

Why do you think people love a good steak so much?
When a person thinks of meat, the picture that forms in his or her mind is a steak! Steak delivers flavour, tenderness and juiciness in a combination equalled by no other meat.

What’s the key to cooking the perfect steak?
It’s a journey from pasture to plate! It all starts with the cow, how and where it was raised, the climate where it was bred and how it was handled.

What are your personal favourite dishes to cook at Butcher & Still?
The Tomahawk Chop and the 99 per cent Crab Cake.

What do you love about working at Butcher & Still?
At Butcher & Still, you leave the ordinary behind, you live an experience out of this world and you treat your senses to a tantalising combination of incomparable flavour, an innovative cocktail list and a unique ambiance.

What do you like to eat when you’re at home?
Difficult to believe but I rarely eat at my house! I love to eat other people’s home cooking and enjoy their company.