The Way of Wagyu at RPM Steak
Exclusive beef lands in Chicago
RPM Steak has announced two luxurious additions to its menu that are exclusive to the restaurant in Chicago, with one making its debut in the United States for the very first time: Sendai Wagyu from Kawaguchi Farm ($42 per ounce, two-ounce minimum) and Namiki Wagyu from Kaneko Farm ($62 per ounce, two-ounce minimum). Executive Chef Partner Bob Broskey, along with his dedicated team at Lettuce Entertain You’s RPM Restaurants, has invested years in crafting RPM Steak’s acclaimed steak program, routinely seeking out the best farmers, ranchers, butchers and aging houses worldwide.
As part of their ongoing mission to search out and partner with the finest purveyors in and outside of the U.S., the RPM team recently traveled to Japan to source the newest additions to RPM Steak’s Japanese Wagyu Program. Below, Chef Broskey imparts some of the wagyu wisdom he gained while visiting the country’s finest cattle farms, and what makes these two New York Strip loins a cut above the rest.
“The ethos of everything we do at RPM Steak is that we want the best product, and we will stop at nothing to find the best product, whether that means traveling to Japan to find beef that’s particularly special, or seek out the best dry-aged beef in the country and the highest grade cuts all throughout the world,” says Broskey.
RPM Steak is the first-ever restaurant in the U.S. to offer Namiki wagyu, securing six loins from among 2,000 special cattle at Kaneko Farm in the Aomori prefecture in northern Japan.
Hailing from the Sendai region of Japan’s Miyagi prefecture northeast of Tokyo, Kawaguchi Farms’ Sendai beef is raised among 700 heads of cattle over 30 months, and RPM Steak is the only place in Chicago to enjoy this beef.
“Wagyu” literally translates to “Japanese cow,” and during visits to some of the finest cattle farms in Japan, Chef Broskey and his team became well-versed in the ways of wagyu, including genetics, husbandry, and feeding. According to Chef, developing strong relationships with single farmers and getting as close to the animals as they can is crucial to the sourcing process, which results in RPM Steak’s ability to offer guests one-of-a-kind dining experiences.
Broskey says it’s unique to encounter a farm like Kaneko, which grows its own feed, corn and canola, in turn allowing it to more closely control the output of its product from its five farms, currently raising a total of 1,100 heads of purebred wagyu cattle.
Among the 24 farms in Miyagi prefecture dedicated to raising wagyu beef, Kawaguchi Farm stands out as one of only two farms exclusively producing Sendai beef. The farm adopts a meticulous approach to cattle rearing, ensuring the exceptional quality of its beef. Kawaguchi Farms’ beef is a testament to Miyagi’s rich natural bounty, owing its distinctive flavor to the cattle’s diet of top-grade rice straw from the renowned rice nurtured in the pristine waters of Lake Izunuma, situated adjacent to the farm.
The unrivaled marbling and luxury price tag of Namiki and Sendai wagyu at RPM Steak make these loins among the most unique menu offerings in the U.S. – a cut above other styles of wagyu and now ubiquitous Kobe beef. Sendai wagyu boasts the strictest grading criteria among Japan’s wagyu brands, and its exceptional balance of marbling and meat quality elevates it to an art form.
With a quality grade of A5 and BMS (Beef Marbling Score) of 80% 10+ (the highest score on the Japanese system’s scale is 12, while most basic is 3), the intense marbling seen in the Sendai and Namiki wagyu means it offers the creamiest, most tender texture available.
While these are the most exclusive cuts that RPM Steak currently offers, Broskey says the RPM team never stops tirelessly pursuing the best quality beef to bring to guests across all of RPM’s menus.