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And the Winner Is…..

The American Royal has named the winners of it’s first ever Steak Competition, and I’ve already got some ribeyes on the way to my kitchen!

The coveted title of Best Steak was handed out Thursday as part of the American Royal Wine Competition and Auction. It was a night of tempting and tasting with some of Kansas City’s best restaurants and wines from around the world.

There was more to taste than one mouth could handle. Reds and whites were flowing from numerous bottles entered into this year’s competition. And best of all, the winning wines were readily available for sampling. Eight local restaurants were serving up special creations in hopes of winning the Best Restaurant award.

Room 39’s oxtail soup with goat cheese gnocchi

My favorites were the Oxtail Soup with Goat Cheese Gnocchi from Room 39. Then there was the and a kicked up Shrimp and Grits from The National. And I must mention the superb smoked salmon from JJ’s. It’s a long-time personal favorite that I always order for parties at my home.

The steak entries were judged in September by a panel of 8 judges including KC’s own Jasper Mirabile of Jasper’s and Alex Pope of Local Pig. Also on the judging panel was steak expert and author Mark Schatzker. Read more about his take on the competition here.

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Two producers in each steak category were honored, and I’m proud to announce that one of those four is based right here in the metro!

Grain-Finished Reserve Champion Joe Bichelmeyer and family

Bichelmeyers meats took home the Reserve Champion title in the Grain-Finished category. This pillar of KC area meats has been operating in Kansas City, Kansas for more than 60 years. Joe Bichelmeyer and his family have long been supporters of American Royal youth education programs. You can head over to his KCK location and pick up some ribeyes for your weekend barbecue, just like the ones he entered into the competition.

resting steaks during competition judging

Grain-Finished Grand Champion goes to Thompson Rivers Ranch from Montana. These beautiful steaks tasted like a slice of heaven! (Yes, I snagged a couple bites of different samples during the judging! And this cube of meat was so good, I jotted down the entry number used in the blind judging so I could find this producer later). This American Wagyu beef cooked up beautifully and wowed the judges. My order is set to arrive on Friday, just in time for my parents’ visit! Perhaps my own table will become my favorite place for steak in KC.

In the Grass-Finished category the Grand Champion was Mark Merrill from Washington state with his Beefalo entry.  Reserve Champion was claimed by Kansas producer Galen Johnson.

Steak Competition entries ready to go

My favorite wine of the night was an amazingly rich red that I’m gonna stock in my wine rack – 2010 Macchia Mischievous Old Vines Zinfandel. Other wine winners were:

Merlot and Grand Champion Red: Columbia Crest Horse Heaven Hills Merlot 2009.

Pinot Noir: Leese Fitch Pinot Noir 2010.

Zinfandel: Macchia Mischievous 2010.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009.

Red Blend: Hedges Family Estate Red Mountain 2008.

White Blend and Grand Champion White: Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc 2010.

Sauvignon Blanc: Reverdy Sancerre Cuvee Les Coutes 2010.

Chardonnay: Artesa Chardonnay 2010.

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