The following are excerpts taken from a letter written by Chef/Owner Victor Matthews, Jr.
Colorado Cuisine, Inc.
The Black Bear Restaurant
The Institute of Fine Cuisine
Paragon Dining Club
10375 Ute Pass Ave. t PO Box 132 t Green Mt. Falls, CO 80819
Phone 719.684.9648 t Fax 719.684.2501 t Home Phone 719.684.9132
Chef/Owner Victor W. Matthews, Jr.
When Chef Victor Matthews re-opened the old Black Bear Restaurant in 1999, there were little in the way of supplies and nothing impressive about this 1950s small-town log cabin. Still, the fire was crackling and he was quick to notice that the majority of orders were for steaks. They had delicious steaks sizzling on a huge charcoal grill. But always a perfectionist, this was not good enough for the chef.
It was around this time that G&C Meat Packing Plant on 21st Street began using their new Rinse & Chill™ technology. The chef took the tour and brought the meat into his restaurant as the first (and now the longest running) restaurant to do so. Not satisfied with just hype, he began a series of blind taste tests with his customers to determine if this beef really was the best.
The first series was all America Products, featuring Select, Choice, Prime and the like. G&C’s Rinse & Chill Manitou Beef won hands down.
The next year, he included American Kobe as well as the Dry Aged Certified Angus used by the U.S. Congress and Olympic Committee. The blind tests continued. Discovering the best Kobe in the world, Black Bear Restaurant became the only outlet outside of Japan for the highest-end elite beef available.
Soon after, the chef included Northern Italy’s Piedmontese Breed, a 25,000 year-old line and it scored very highly as well. Eventually, he posed a final test between the three sub-champions in the “Absolute World Beef Championship”. It was a no-holds-barred taste-test featuring the best of G&C’s Rinse & Chill Manitou Beef , the Piedmontese, the Hyper-Marbled and Ultra-Lux Gold Label Kobe.
Five hundred and fifty random customers from great chefs to cattle ranchers to food critics tried the Beef Challenges at an average of $50 per plate. The Chef became legendary throughout the world for his peerless beef knowledge and the Black Bear has become the focal point of modern beef knowledge world-wide.
The following are the statistical results of those trials as reported in the “Beef List” offered at the Black Bear Restaurant to celebrate the new year.
Gold Label Kobe Beef
(Extremely expensive, but The Best Beef in the World. Almost impossible to obtain.)
Votes: 121/550 Score: 22%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 1st
Place Considering Price and Availability: 6th
G&C Elite Aged Cold-Rinsed Manitou Beef
(Handpicked by owner Frank III. Considering all factors, easily the world’s best beef!)
Votes: 91/550 Score: 16.55%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 2nd
Place Considering Price and Availability: 1st
Black Label American Kobe Beef
(The world¹s #1 selling Wagyu. Available in only a few US and Japanese Restaurants.)
Votes: 68/550 Score: 12.36%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 3rd
Place Considering Price and Availability: 5th
(The Best Beef of Europe. 25,000 years of breeding. Rich and Dense.)
Votes: 65/550 Score: 11.82%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 4th
Place Considering Price and Availability: 8th
G&C Cold-Rinsed Manitou Beef
(America’s first “Rinse & Chill” facility. Small, all-natural Colorado Farms.)
Votes: 63/550 Score: 11.45%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 5th
Place Considering Price and Availability: 2nd
Dry-Aged USDA Prime
(The best beef available nationally, chosen by the White House and Elite Country Clubs.)
Votes: 51/550 Score: 9.27%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 6th
Place Considering Price and Availability: 4th
Aged Certified Angus Beef
(The leading Beef Certification Program in America, chosen by the Olympic Committee.)
Votes: 42/550 Score: 7.64%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 7th
Place Considering Price and Availability: 7th
(The big selling point for most national steakhouses, a good standard steak.)
Votes: 30/550 Score: 5.45%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 8th
Place Considering Price and Availability: 3rd
(By far the most common cut available.)
Votes: 19/550 Score: 3.45%
Place Considering Only Taste and Texture: 9th
Place Considering Price and Availability: 9th