The Unique Spice Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary Uses On His Steak - Exclusive

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Some people think that steak only needs to be seasoned with salt and pepper, as this allows the flavor of the beef to shine through. We love a simple steak as much as the next person, but there's no reason you can't have a little more fun with the accompaniments from time to time.

This view is apparently shared by famous entrepreneur and "Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary. He said in an exclusive interview with Tasting Table that for his last meal, he "would make a filet mignon, steak au poivre with my sauce using a Burgundian base." He told us that, in addition to a peppery sauce made with reduced wine, he sometimes likes to top his filet mignon with caramelized onion slices. And he doesn't use normal black pepper to make his steak au poivre: "I use brown Cambodian pepper. It's hard to get, but the pepper makes it."

Cambodian pepper is grown in the country's Kampot region, and it's rare, expensive, and delicious. It's highly valued for its complex flavor with hints of citrus, herbs, and sweetness; pepper produced in Cambodia is known for not having as much of a sharp kick as pepper grown in other places. The spice has been prized by French chefs for decades and is the perfect accompaniment to a fancy cut of steak.

Kevin O'Leary learned how to cook in Cambodia

You may be asking why you should listen to a software entrepreneur's cooking advice and why a Canadian businessman like Kevin O'Leary has a taste for a niche Cambodian spice. As it turns out, O'Leary spent some of his childhood living in Cambodia, where he learned his way around the kitchen with the help of local cooks. This gave him a lifetime love of cooking and a mastery of a wide range of global cuisines. "I cook for my family almost every day, and it's whatever is on their mind and wherever we want to go," he told us. His passion for the kitchen can be seen in the products he chooses to invest in on "Shark Tank" — he's a fan of cooking gadgets like the Bertello pizza oven and the Turbo Trusser.

It's fortunate for O'Leary that his favorite steak seasoning is still around. While pepper cultivation used to be widespread in Cambodia, the harsh reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s decimated production. Though more farmers have started growing the spice in recent years, the output is still nowhere near the levels it reached in the first half of the 20th century.

You can find the Turbo Trusser and Bertello on Amazon. New episodes of "Shark Tank" air Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.