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Chef José Gordón, the Ox Aficionado


Word on the street is that there’s a new chef named Gordon in town and the only thing that separates this Gordón from our British celebrity chef Gordon are two accents; one over the “O” in Gordón and the other? Their differing dialects. Let’s hope this meaty competition doesn’t feed chef Ramsay’s candour any more than usual with the arrival of his Spaniard counterpart.

 

Without further ado, let’s get stuck in…

In true #DiscreetMuse style with a slight twist, “MEAT” the KING of Leon (see what I did there? 😉 ) and Ox aficionado, chef José Gordón!

 jose gordon josé gordón discreet muse ox  restaurant review spain leon spaniard gordon ramsay

For as long as he can remember, Spanish native Gordón has been utterly consumed with meat, even citing “you could say it’s been a problem [of mine] … my first marriage fell apart because I was obsessed with the meat,” he confessed comically through the help of his Spanish to English translator. His long term passion for rearing and delivering premium cut meat, more specifically buey, to the public was established when he studied Agriculture in Cantabria. It was there that he initially embarked on several diverse aging experiments. One might say Gordón’s style of rearing on his farm and restaurant, El Caprichio (which is located an hour outside the Spanish town of Leon) is one of the more humane. As unlike many other farms we come across in this fast paced, fast food generation, Gordón allows the animals to roam freely for up to 15 years before they are slaughtered. This process not only gives the animals a better quality of life but also has been thought to result in the buey being “World’s apart” from any other sampled before, hence why his restaurant El Caprichio is often considered as the home place for the world’s greatest steak.

With all of the “beefing up” (I should really stop with the meat jokes) of Gordón’s expertise, history and poise in his incredibly unique method in rearing his produce, I thought it would only be right that I, a humble novice to all things Ox, was going to have to LEARN TODAY!

#kevinhart

I mean, what makes the taste exquisite or not? Food is food, right? Well, I wanted to find out…

I aptly accepted an invitation by my British blogger buddy Eni Maj and JPR Media Group to attend his press dinner at the Worlds End Market last week and sat down, white wine in hand for what was promised to be a superb evening.

I was pleasantly surprised that the man himself was present at the event and not just his PR team acting in his place; my mind slightly wandered noticing how his stout stature was somewhat resonant of the beings he rears. Standing up front, his female translator by his side, amidst an intimate array of press in the upstairs area of the Worlds End Market, Gordón confirmed all of what I had previously read about him.

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The conviction and passion in his deliverance as he depicted his journey thus far, emanated effortlessly even without my comprehending first-hand due to the language barrier. He remarked that one key element in rearing such an enormous and powerful animal i.e. becoming a “buey-whisperer”, which I might add stands at a cumbersome yet impressive seven feet tall, is to display dominance within your body language towards the beast at all times. Showing weakness is but a sure way of the aggressive unruly beasts running rings around you on your own farm, which just won’t do. I considered that perhaps this ideology is one which is undertaken by Gordón when dealing in business as well.

After a rather lengthy introduction, we were then guided down the freshly painted winding staircase to the beautifully lit main dining area of the Worlds End Market. There we were greeted by three long lined tables neatly decorated with elegant white candles in glass beds, bouquets of fresh flowers, soon to be filled wine glasses and of course the boutique tasting menu.

Before being seated, Eni Maj and I had a moment to speak briefly with Chef Gordón to express our gratitude and delight of being in his presence that evening. Not to mention our growing intrigue; being able to sample such an adored and high-grade matured meat.

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My taste buds were jumping with anticipation.

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We were treated to a partial selection of his preferential range of dishes as shown below, which included:

Cecina de Buey (Premium Cured Ox leg), Carpaccio de Lomo Buey Madurado (Carpaccio from the entrecôte matured 180 days with olive oil and salt), Steak Tartae, Charcoal Grilled Spanish Red Peppers, Vacio de Buey (Premium Ox Flank Steak), Chuleta de Buey Premium (Premium Ox Bone-in Rib Eye Steak – 90 days dry aged) and finally for dessert, a classic Lemon Sorbet.

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My favoured dish had to be the initial special we sampled, entitled Cecina de Buey. The Cecina de Buey seemed to almost melt in my mouth, a surprising quality and texture but very appealing. The Steak TareTae, which was also my first time ever trying it, was actually pretty incredible too – very scrumptious in fact! And finally the addition of Chargrilled Spanish Red Peppers on the side was a nice sweet complement to such a heavily meaty plate.

The remaining dishes, while I could appreciate the dexterity in creating what had been placed before us, in particular the Vacio de Buey which I also enjoyed, I nonetheless felt that my consumption of that much raw meat in one sitting (and without much to offset it) was a little too rich for me. Although the flavour was a success in most dishes, I think medium rare is the closest to raw meat I’ll revisit in future.

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However, that being said I don’t think I saw a scrap left on anyone’s plates by the end of the night. With other invitees playing with their Ox carcasses on the table behind us (which made Eni and I ponder their table etiquette…), free flowing wine and chef Gordón personally slicing meat onto each and every one of our plates, there was no denying this event was curated with an incredible amount of love and hard work, characteristics which fed not only our bellies but also our fascination into his brand.

If you happen to be interested in trying chef José Gordón’s exquisite premium cuts in its entirety and not just as a taster, you can do so by sampling the Worlds End Market new menu which will incorporate some of chef Gordón’s dishes when it launches later this month.

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Press dinner courtesy of  JPR Media Group.