Why Kwame Onwuachi Prefers Ribeye To Other Higher-End Steaks - Exclusive

At 2023's U.S. Open — famous for serving up not only an exciting tennis tournament but also a who's who in U.S. cuisine — Kwame Onwuachi will serve four dishes, one of them a pepper steak accompanied by stewed peppers and pickled onions. For the occasion, the James Beard award-winning chef will offer his dishes at the Open's restaurant, Aces, alongside other culinary idols like Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, so only the best ingredients will do. And with the pressure on to deliver top-notch meals, Onwuachi will turn to ribeyes to feed hungry tennis aficionados.

It's an intentional choice, the NYC-based culinary star — whom The San Francisco Chronicle once called the "most important chef in America" — exclusively told us in an interview to honor his participation in the Open. He prefers ribeyes to other high-end cuts like the T-bone, beef tenderloin, New York strip, or Porterhouse for one meaty characteristic: A ribeye, the chef told us, beats other steaks in his book thanks to its marbling (i.e., the white flecks of intramuscular fat you'll see interlaced with the leaner parts of the cut). "It just lends to a lot more flavor," Onwuachi explained. "It's really, really tender."

This is how Kwame Onwuachi prepares his ribeyes

The steps to cooking a steak are hardly a secret reserved for our culinary gods: steak meets oil and heat, needs flipping, and gets removed from the heat. Yet while any amateur cook can achieve a mediocre steak (we've all borne witness to this on "MasterChef" or whatever amateur cooking competition you're following this month), achieving an extraordinary one is the act of a culinary Picasso.

If you're still on your steak-cooking journey, take a cue from these four tips of Kwame Onwuachi's to help you master the art. First — as Onwuachi once told CBS — before starting, ensure your meat is at room temperature. Second, the culinary star prefers either to cook his ribeyes on a grill or in a cast-iron skillet coated with oil (canola oil is fine), as he once shared with Today. Third, heat your grill or cast iron skillet to high, and wait for the oil to smoke before you begin cooking your steak. Finally, once your steak is seared on all sides, done to your liking, and off the heat source, let your steak rest before slicing it — Onwuachi leaves his for about 10 minutes.