Chef Brett McKee of the Charleston’s Oak Steakhouse has recently displayed his exceptional talents on South Carolina Educational Television, as a featured segment of the show “Carolina Stories”.
McKee established the New York style steak house five years ago in an historic 1848 building at 17 Broad Street, where the delightful aroma of steaks adds a distinctive flavor to dark wooden paneling and an elaborate Italianate façade that were added during remodeling the early 1870’s.
In the television segment, McKee shows various methods of preparing the thick slabs of steak. He cooks one steak on a grill, another is singed “Pittsburgh style” in a heavy iron frying pan, while a third is caramelized with onions, peppers and shallots in a double-skillet method.
McKee expertly works the three preparations simultaneously, while explaining in detail the various ingredients used for marinades and rubs, the timing of heat sources, and the nuances of the targeted taste. He says that numerous steak orders will often come at the same time on busy nights, and that the restaurant professional must be able to multi-task while making sure each entrée is cooked to perfection.
As McKee evidences in the TV show, his ability to handle this steak challenge is masterful. The Oak Steakhouse has won such culinary awards as the “Best New Restaurant” from the Charleston City Paper; recognition in the New York Times and Bon Appetit magazine, while he was among the five finalists in Chef magazine’s national “Chef of the Year” competition in 2007, and was given the Culinary Legend Award and Charleston’s 2008 Wine and Food Festival.