Food Is Love | Family Business | Season 2 Episode 10
Here's to the local restaurants, to the chefs, owner operators, the staff, the ones who love being in the weeds night after night. When we go to work each morning, that's who we have in mind from where we source our food to how we deliver it here's to them, the ones who are out there cooking for us every day. Restaurants are the heart of everything we do. We are Performance Food Service proudly supporting Food is Love. Support for food is love is provided by Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood 100% fishermen family owned independent seafood sourcing catching, processing and delivering seafood directly to the consumer's front door. From caught to bought wild salmon direct from the fisherman.
Direct from the fisherman Information at WildAlaskaSalmonandseafood.com Give me a mic. Thank you.
How do you do ladies and gentlemen? This is Orson Welles. It started at a young age with me, there was never any question. I wanted to raise black Angus cattle. This is what I love to do. As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a cowboy.
What little boy didn't think that was cool. The American cowboy is the master of the land, the leader of the herd, a cattleman, a tough guy who is also respected. But if I'm being honest, I wasn't cut out for it. This is a city cowboys worst nightmare.
I don't think she wants to be friends. Getting up with the sun to feed the herd or care for a new calf probably isn't for me. But still, there is a close connection to what happens in the kitchen and what happens out here. As a chef, I need to stay curious in order to evolve. For me, that means looking beyond a good meal to learn more about who made it and what inspires them to Cook.
La comida es amor Every great city has great food. I'm going on a journey around the world. Right here in St. Louis. I'm on a quest to find passionate chefs who cooks from the heart.
"I think its the best." ..to prove that food is love and it's going to be delicious. Food is love.
Love your food. The Steakhouse, an American culinary tradition. Think of it as elevated cowboy food. The best cuts of mostly beef in an upscale restaurant setting. Everyone knows if you want a great steak, you go to a steakhouse. They generally dont compromise on the food or the experience.
And in my experience, some of the best steakhouses are family owned, naturally being the gateway to the Midwest, where cattle farming is prolific, St. Louis is perfectly poised for both supply and demand, and certainly many restaurants in the St. St. Louis area have beef protein options
like steak on their menus. But what about the family steakhouse? Does it still exist? To find out I'm here. This is Citizen Kane's in Kirkwood. The name of the restaurant is obviously a playon words referencing the classic Orson Welles movie and and the name of the owner, Frank Kane. It was the best black and white movie of all times. And my name being Kane and a nickname of mine.
It just all came together. You have a couple of things on the menu, right? The Rosebud.. The Rosebud salad, that's off the movie. And then boarding house potatoes, because William Randolph Hearst was actually in a boarding house. So he remembered those days when he didn't have money.
One of our first hostesses, She was an art major at Webster University. And she did this before she left. It's all about the movie When Mr.Hearst bought the Daily Enquirer Newspaper when he was 21 years old. It almost looks like he has a chef jacket on Right? It does look like he has a chef jacket on.
And that's the sous chef. And this is the sommelier He's out there selling wine. Yes. The hosts thought there was a ghost in this restaurant, so she actually put a lady up here that's watching over all of us. Is there a ghost here? Rumor has it there is a ghost here. His name, I believe, is I think it's Herman Herman.
Okay. Or Jacob, I believe. As a classic American family steakhouse, Citizen Kane features a menu that is loaded with all the standards. You want a ribeye? They have it. New York strip or filet maybe This is your spot.
They make a nice bernaise, and you can get a good glass of wine or cocktail here. Everything has the classic steak house touches. We make all our desserts, we make our dressings, we cut all of our meat, veal stock the old fashioned way, Everything, the Bernaise the old fashioned way.
But you've made it into a family business. yes. Four of my children work here, and they all do a fine job. I no longer have to... How many kids do you have? Five.
So what happened to the fifth? The fifth one was a little smarter than the rest of us. And he escaped to Seattle. In the restaurant business you can't have enough kids. I'll tell you what. If I didn't have the kids that I have, we wouldn't be open today. Guaranteed.
I can't say enough about how great they all are and all my employees, that they've been here for a long time and everyone has fun at work. Let's bring the bartender over here. And this is your son? This is my second boy right here. Tyler. Yes. He's been with us for 20 years starting when he was 13. So you're a bartender here, too? Bartender and I'm the general manager as well. Okay.
That's what I like. It's so cool to have kids here because, you know, you can trust them and you're all on the same page and you're in it for the family and just to interact with the kids on a daily basis. And my grandkids. Now they're all doing the same thing that they did, running up and down the stairs. Just think about the life skills you learn in a restaurant, right? And everything about this place speaks to me. It's the kind of old school service that makes you feel important, like your family.
And to me, knowing that the whole family is involved here is what gives it that feeling. What cuts the meat are you selling more of? Well, the filet is always number one, but the ribeye is catching up with the fillet. It used to be fillet, Strip, ribeye. Now it's fillet. Ribeye, strip as far as one, two, three.
Which one is your favorite? I like the strip. You cut all your stakes here? Yes. Down in the basement. Frankie Kane, Frank's youngest son, is cutting steaks for this evening service. I waited for my fifth child to name him Frankie after myself.
Isn't that a little selfish on your part? It is. Yeah. They only serve prime beef at Citizen Kanes. It's all Midwestern corn fed beef. Prime steak. Okay, nothing but prime. What does that mean for you? Like when we talk quality on meat? How do you judge that? All the prime meat we have here, the strips and ribeyes, we like to have at least four to six weeks of age on them.
And these steaks looks amazing. That's a nice looking steak right there. Look at the marbling That's fantastic. I'll tell you what. You taught, Frank Jr Pretty good.
I can tell. I need a guy like him down in DeSoto, Illinois, but I couldn't do that to you. They might take you up on it! Watching Frankie work the knife.
You can tell he's done this a time or two. And all the trimmings from these cuts are used at the shop next door. Then we use all that scrap right there for our grind. Okay. A very efficient way to eliminate waste and making sure that everything is used.
So you grind it up and use it for the market. Yeah, but we use it for all of our soups. And we also use it for prime hamburger, steak burger or meatball sandwich over there. Yeah, we do meatball sandwiches. There's some delivery drivers that get scared Sometimes when I go back there They get that feeling, that ghost feeling.
Apparently, the basement here could be haunted. I'm eager to see the kitchen anyway, so this seems like a good time to exit. The kitchen here is tight. So that means these guys have to be efficient. Every steak, pork chop, salmon filet and saute item comes from this corner here. It's amazing what a couple of people can do on a Saturday night. Wow. It's good.
I always wanted to start a contest where you can go to another kitchen and someone has to come to your kitchen and try to perform and do what we do. We'd probably win the contest because working out of here, getting into a bigger kitchen, We would feel like a horse run free! Like I told them, on my tombstone I want "hot sides, cold salads, and sizzling platters" Yeah, that's my motto right there. I like the cook, to burn the food runner's fingers. Oh, wow. Look at that. I know, like I do this myself.
on the saute station, there are so many things going on so many pans flying around, you really get into a groove, and it just comes out naturally. I love that. This is theater for me. There's no lemon juice in green bean almondine? Not in this one I want to have a shout out to my wife right here. There is no lemon, as much lemon as she puts in her green bean almondine.
And I've been telling her this for years, and she won't listen to me because I don't know anything, but I'm happy to see we are on the same page with that. Thank you. That's going to get me in trouble right there. Oh, man! Family and service are the hallmarks of the Citizen Kane experience.
But the other big reason that people come here is for the meat. To find out what makes steaks good enough for Citizen Kanes. I'm up with the sun riding along with cattleman Brock Meyer of Meyer Cattle Company. I'm with him this morning as he checks some of his herd.
Brock raises Black Angus cattle. High end restaurants obviously charge a lot more for their beef, and there is a reason for that. And that's what we're trying to find out today. People are not very in tune with where their food comes from. It's so interesting to standing here and think about most of the time as chefs, we get the meat in and it's already ready to go.
And you have no idea What it takes to get it to that point. This is where it all starts right here in the pasture. They free range grass. This is primarily fescue, and we also have a lot of red clover in our pastures. What sets them apart? They're good in our environment. They're very efficient cattle.
They don't give up mothering ability. I mean, you can see these cows going after their babies, making sure their babies are okay. Did you always want to be a farmer or there was no choice? No.
I always wanted to be a farmer. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Beef production tugged at my heart at a young age. I just love going out here, especially in the mornings, checking these cows and making sure everything's healthy.
So is it a family farm in the sense that it's been in your family for a long time? It has. Yeah. It was started by my grandpa and expanded by my dad and his brothers. And then I planned to carry that on.
This is how we like to raise our kids teaching that compassion to them. My daughter and my son seemed to be very interested in it, so our goal is to pass it on down. I love watching those babies run and play. They're so happy and healthy.
And that's what you like to see. Green grass and happy, healthy cattle Here on Brocks Farm, they're raised to meet the highest standards reaching several benchmarks to meet the grade. A large percentage of our animals qualify for Certified Angus Beef At the end of the day, That's our success story is when we're able to put that steake on a family's table for them to enjoy. That means thank you very much. I believe. See you later. Yeah. See you later. It's obvious that Brock takes good care of the herd.
Sure, the sunrise was a nice reward, but getting up and doing this every day is a real commitment. Brock hand raises his livestock for about two years until it's sold. Yeah. So that's an ear tag. That's an identification marker. And that's what we use for our records.
So we know that that cow produced this calf. We're very passionate about our cattle. This farm is very data driven.
We follow that cow and that calf she raises all the way through. A lot of my knowledge was, like, I say, taught by my dad, but my goal is to just keep taking things to the next level. So tell me how this works. So this is what we call a cake box or a feedbox, and we fill that up with grain. And that's what I use in the morning to check the pastures honk the horn, the cows come running, they know that they're going to get a little nibble of that.
And that's how we move cows. This is how we check cows. It's very stress free. What is it exactly? It's just very simple little ration that is very nutritious for the cattle and gives them a little snack.
Like I say, just to get them to come to us and we can move from place to place stress free. Obviously. That's very important, what they eat, right? Yes. Very important.
We work with the nutritionalist that builds our rations for us. So much like a human's diet. It's balanced. It's good. It's a little dry, in my opinion. So when stuff breaks down out here, do you know how to fix it? Yeah.
I have to play mechanic and fix it. You know, we have a lot of roles here. My dad's better at that than I am. It may be picturesque on the farm, but there's a lot of work to be done here.
You really have to love what you do. Yeah It's definitely a different lifestyle doing this. It is a labor of love. It's just like having a restaurant.
You are married to it. Same responsibility. I mean, if we don't work together, then it's not going to work. Yeah. Everybody's got to work together and play their part seven days a week.
As it turns out, taking care of the cattle on the Meyer Ranch is a family endeavor. This is Lexi, Brock's daughter and farmhand Lexi how old are you? I'm 17. And you've been doing this all your life too? Since I was three. I get out here about 7 or 6:30, right around there. And then I go to my classes in the morning around 7:40. And he's not forcing you to do anything?
You want to do it by yourself? Oh, yeah. Wow. But I bet you from a teacher's standpoint, you know that you're a good person just because you get up in the morning have responsibilities, that's hard to get by anymore. Yeah having livestock, having cattle to take care of teaches that responsibility.
They depend on us for everything. It's exciting to think back that my grandpa started this farm and operated on this land, and now I get the opportunity. And then Lexie and my son, Jackson, it will just be passed down. There you go.
He's hungry, huh? Yeah. I wish all my customers were like this. All right, you're done. And Lexi is, well versed in doing nearly every job Brock does and even a couple he doesn't.
This is my home base okay, so everything here I take care of on a daily basis. So morning and night. So before school, I'll come here in the mornings. Usually it's cool like this out, so I'll just make feed get them in here. Most of the time I just leave these back gates open Where those heifers can come in and out kind of as they please. These are Lexis' show cattle, known as the girl in the cowboy hat.
from her trademark show attire. I wear a cowboy hat whenever I show, and a lot of girls don't do that. And over time, I've got the opportunity to do a couple of interviews.
They've kind of nicknamed me the girl who wears the cowboy hat. You'll see a poster in there that has that from an article I did. But that's kind of my nickname is, The girl who wears the cowboy hat. As you're exhibiting the animal, you want to look the best you can. But the main focus of the showman is to make sure that the animal looks good at all times. And that takes a real skill.
So you just got to, with working on these cattle yourself, You really want to understand animals. Lexi tackles everyday farm life with as much moxie as a seasoned rancher. So you lift it up to the far side and you spread it all the way down. Okay. I feel like I need to be carrying that. I get used to feeding by myself And demonstrates an incredible amount of responsibility.
But it's a little different what you do. You kind of have a relationship with the animals, right? Well, we all have a relationship with them. It's just a little bit different in my form.
Like, I'm more one on one with my heifers. Now Brock has a lot more cattle to take care of, so he can't just do exactly what I do with the cattle. There's a lot of things you have to give up that other women your age will do.
You don't have time for that. Yeah. So it's just something that I've grown up doing. It's always been in my blood to do it. Now I've had the opportunity to play sports, or do things that are more girly. But I think that I've always have had a passion for the cattle industry and the livestock industry.
So whenever we're selling heifers and for younger kids like me to show it's my job to make sure that they're tame enough for the younger kids to show them this one, we only have a half bucket If that isn't enough family involvement for you.. How are you? Hi, I'm Michelle Meyer. Nice meeting you, Lasse.
And who's this guy? This is Jackson. He's got a job on the farm, too? Everybody's got a job? Yeah. This is Brock's dad, a lifelong cattle farmer who also work on the day to day around here with Brock. "Theres papa!" Is Papa feeding? There's plenty of work to go around. Somehow, it's already gone from sunrise to lunchtime, and today, like they often do, everybody is meeting up at Brock's parents house for lunch.
Sitting down at the table with three generations of a working farm family gives me a different perspective how things come together in the restaurant. It's all about education, the high end restaurants that buy high end beef They come from farmers like you that you have to put the same care into what you do. And I put the same care and follow along with that.
So we're kind of doing the same thing. It's easy to take all the effort for granted. Think about how much time, energy, effort and love that goes into doing what you're doing.
And so when people order, whether it's meat or fish and it's handled by us. But really, you have to think about where it came from and honor and respect that. I thought it was important for me to come out and see. It's so easy just to cook a steak and serve it.
And people don't realize how much goes into all this stuff. I'm back where I started this morning at the cattle barn, and I hardly recognize it in the daylight. Also visible in the daylight is the house next door that Brock is building with his wife, Michelle. If I hadn't already mentioned that cattle is a family business here, it should be obvious by now. Raising them on the farm very early, teaches them compassion, and it teaches them perseverance.
I mean, because here's the thing, like when you're raising livestock and you have a bad day and things, no matter what you do, something goes wrong, right? And it teaches them that they just get up and try again because they've got animals depending on them. Family participation used to be something that was normal on American farms. You look at the data things, and there are so many families and so many people that are so far from the farm, there's less than 2% that are involved in production agriculture.
And it's something that has always kind of hit home to me that I want to continue. That like, I don't want to be another one that is farther away from the farm. I want to keep that in my family. It's good to see that this family farm is thriving and well. And as I sit down to dinner with Frank and his family at Citizen Kane's, I can't help but reflect on the symmetry between these two stories.
Working with family is a blessing. It is a blessing. And I see your small grandchildren. They're going to be the third or fourth generation of Citizen Kane to keep it going? Third Yes.
You can't ask for anymore. I am the luckiest man in the world. Yeah. Wow. That looks great. Our famous pork chop. I love it. It looks fantastic.
So which one should I try first? Well, you said you like the ribeye, so you probably have to try the ribeye first. Okay. Why do you like the strip? The filet to me, it's really tender, but it doesn't have the flavor. It's very good, but I think the strip has a little more body.
It's what I'm looking for. Oh, this is delicious. Sure, one is supply, and one is demand. But at the heart of it, it's food being produced by family, prepared by family and served to family.
It's full circle. The classic American Steakhouse is live and well. So is the family cattle farm. Both working in symmetry to create the classic American dining experience.
I love the whole family thing. How wonderful is this that you have this together.. and it keeps going. Food is love and family is love. Salud Skol I'm going to take the filet. I'm going to put Wild mushroom sauce with one of these vegetables on there. And there's a lot of love in this dish.
Simple, delicious. It's really no family secret. Food is love.
Farming is love. So whether you like the ribeye or the filet, this is Orson Welles. I wish you'd come to Citizen Kane and decide for yourself. Food is love. And what is that? Cow tipping? They sleep standing up is the myth and that you can run up to them and push them over.
Really!? When they're sleeping in the middle of the night. But that's not true. Here's to the local restaurants, to the chefs, owner operators, the staff, the ones who love being in the weeds night after night. When we go to work each morning, that's who we have in mind from where we source our food to how we deliver it here's to them, the ones who are out there cooking for us every day.
Restaurants are the heart of everything we do. We are Performance Food Service Proudly supporting Food is Love. Support for Food is Love is provided by Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood 100% Fisherman family owned Independent seafood sourcing. Catching, processing and delivering seafood directly to the consumer's front door From caught to bought wild salmon direct from the Fisherman. Information at WildAlaskanSalmonandSeafood.com