Wynn Las Vegas Magazine by MODERN LUXURY

Wynn Las Vegas - 2017 - Issue 3 - Winter

Wynn Magazine - Las Vegas

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Page 49 of 99

48 STEAK LOVERS PRIZE JAPANESE WAGYU BEEF ABOVE ALL OTHERS, AND THE BEST VARIETIES ARE SO RARE THEY CAN BE HARD TO FIND EVEN IN JAPAN. But while the most famous names, Kobe, Ohmi and Matsusaka, are scarce, Hokkaido Snow Beef makes them seem downright pedestrian by comparison. Mizumi in Wynn Las Vegas is one of only four restaurants in the world outside Hokkaido serving the world's most exclusive meat. Devin Hashimoto, Mizumi's Executive Chef, has traveled to Japan several times—most recently for his grandmother's 100th birthday, and to explore the nation's varied cuisine. Snowy Hokkaido is Japan's northern- most island, sits in the middle of an arctic weather pattern known as the Siberian Express, and was home to the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympic Games. Very few outsiders have traveled to the farm where "the Wagyu Meister," rancher Fujio Terauchi, raises these select cattle, but among those who know beef, it is legendary. "Dr. Asanuma is a retired dermatologist who has made cattle his hobby, and his passion is to outdo the more famous Kobe beef," says Hashimoto. "He hired Terauchi and bought this farm, which is surrounded by a bird sanctuary, keeping the whole area undeveloped. He raises only third-gen- eration or older pure Hokkaido-born Kuroge Washu cattle, raised entirely without antibiotics, steroids or hormones." Known as "Never Ever Three," this is the most natural way to produce beef with no residual chemicals, but is rarely practiced on U.S. ranches because it is costlier. There are four historic breeds of Japanese wagyu, or cattle, the most prized being the Japanese Black, or Kuroge, used for the more widely known Kobe and Matsusaka beef. But because of the cold weather on Hokkaido, Dr. Asanuma's animals develop a thicker coat and different fat dispersion. Like all high-quality Japanese wagyu, they are extremely well marbled, but a bit more of the fat ends up on the surface for insulation. "He even made special custom jackets for the calves to wear in winter," says Hashimoto. "But what really makes the meat special is Hokkaido's famous sweet corn, which makes dairy products here excellent—the milk is so amazing, you can't compare it with anything in this country. For the Snow Beef, it makes the beef sweeter and not as intense as other types of wagyu, a really clean taste, less fatty." Kobe is so rich and high in fat that it can only be consumed in small quantities before it coats the tongue and overwhelms the taste buds, while the slightly milder Snow Beef can be enjoyed longer, bite after delicious bite, though it is still much richer than most beef. Mizumi is the only restaurant in Las Vegas serving it, but it is also the only one serving Snow Beef and authentic imported Kobe, so the most special way to indulge here is to try them side by side. "Terauchi has devoted his entire life to raising these cattle, and they only slaughter three head each month, and we have committed to taking one of those," says Hashimoto. Dr. Asanuma owns a restaurant in Sapporo that serves his beef, and the remainder goes to just three other spots around the world, with no one getting as big an allotment as Mizumi. Because so little is produced and it is done so carefully, the farm exports only the very best of its herd. "[Mizumi gets] all A5 grade, whereas a lot of Japanese beef coming to this country is A4," he explains. A5 is the highest possible grade and means top scores in all subcategories for which beef is judged, the most important being the marbling score, which runs from 1 to 12. "He sends us nothing but marbling score 8 or higher, while other Japanese beef can be 7, but we also sometimes get the very highest, 10 to 12, almost unheard of with other imported beef," the chef says. "We have this thing we call the 'beef box' that we display our meats in tableside, and when we have Snow Beef with a score of 8 or 9, it looks pretty similar to our Kobe, but when we get 10 to 12, it's a lot lighter red, with an amazing 牛扒迷們公認日本和牛是最好的牛肉,而最優質的品種如此罕有, 即使在日本也很難覓到。神戶牛、近江牛、松阪牛這些品種已經非常珍 貴,但比起北海道雪花和牛來說,還是相形見絀。永利拉斯維加斯的「 泓」日本料理是在北海道地區以外,全世界僅有的四間供應這種珍稀和 牛的餐廳之一。 「泓」日本料理的行政總廚Devin Hashimoto多次前往日本探親 — 最近一次是為祖母慶賀百歲大壽—也是為了探索日本種類繁多的美 食。常年積雪的北海道位於日本最北端,常年處於俗稱西伯利亞寒流的北 極冬季氣候之下,是1972年札幌冬季奧運會的舉辦地。「和牛大神」Fujio Terauchi飼養優質和牛的農場就在那裡,而Hashimoto是極少數有幸參觀 過農場的人。 「Asanuma博士是一位退休的皮膚科醫生,飼養和牛是他的愛好。 他滿懷熱情要生產出與最著名的神戶牛肉相媲美、甚至更優質的牛肉。」 Hashimoto說:「他聘請了Terauchi,並買下他的農場。農場附近是日本建 立的首個鳥類保護區,所以周邊環境一直沒有受到發展破壞。他只飼養第 三代或更早的北海道純種黑毛和牛,飼養過程絕不添加任何抗生素,類固 醇或荷爾蒙。」這種和牛在日本被稱為「Never Ever Three」(三無添加), 這種以最天然的養殖方法生產的牛肉沒有化學物質殘留,但因為成本更 昂貴,美國的農場往往很少採用。 日本和牛有四種傳統品種,其中最珍貴的黑毛和種,就是著名的神戶 牛和松阪牛所使用的品種。由於北海道氣候寒冷,Asanuma博士養殖的和 牛,脂肪的分佈方式更厚實也更獨特。與所有高品質的日本和牛一樣,這 些牛肉的脂肪分佈像大理石花紋一樣漂亮,但表面覆蓋著更厚的脂肪層。 「Asanuma博士還會在冬天為小牛穿上特別定制的外套。」Hashimoto說: 「但其實讓牛肉擁有獨特風味的原因,是他們使用粟米餵飼。北海道特產 甜粟米,所以吃粟米的牛產出的牛奶也特別美味,別處的牛奶完全無法與 之媲美。因此這裡的雪花和牛味道更鮮甜,但沒有其他和牛品種的肉味那 樣濃郁,清爽而不肥膩。」神戶牛的味道過於濃厚而且脂肪含量高,一次只 能吃少量,不然就會讓舌頭和味蕾都裹在濃膩的味道裡。而雪花和牛的味 道雖然比大多數牛肉都濃郁,但更柔和,所以可以一口接一口地慢慢品嚐。 「泓」日本料理是拉斯維加斯唯一供應雪花和牛以及正宗神戶和牛的餐 廳,所以最好的品嚐方法是兩種和牛相互比較著吃,盡情享受箇中美味。 Hashimoto說:「Terauchi把畢生精力投入和牛養殖,每個月只宰殺 三頭牛,我們餐廳就包下其中一頭。」Asanuma博士在札幌有一家餐廳供 應自家牛肉,其餘牛肉則只在全世界其它三間餐廳供應,「泓」日本料理是 其中供應量最大的一間。因為產量極少而且飼養過程極費心思,農場只會 出口最優質的那部分牛肉。Hashimoto解釋:「「泓」日本料理購入的全部 是 A5級和牛,而美國入口的大部分牛肉都只是 A4級。」A5表示牛肉是在 所有評判標準中取得最高分數的最高級質量,而評判標準中最重要的是 脂肪分佈的花紋,評分從1到12。「他們供應給我們的牛肉,脂肪分佈評分 全部在8或以上,其他日本和牛的評分可能只有7,有時我們能拿到高達10 分到12分的雪花和牛,其他地方的進口牛肉幾乎沒有達到這個級別的。」 主廚說:「我們在餐桌旁設有展示各種牛肉的「牛肉箱」。拿到評分8分或9 分的雪花和牛時,賣相看起來與神戶牛差別不大,但拿到10分到12分的牛 肉時,就能看出牛肉的紅色較淺,脂肪分佈的花紋看起來極其漂亮。由於 神戶牛仍然是日本牛肉的代名詞,客人很少知道雪花牛肉,我們的員工經 攝攝

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