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A while back I got paired with a gentleman that had been a professional chef for 30+ years. Of course early in the round I did not know this as I had just met him. His name was Criss and I could tell he had a passion for the game of golf. He had some knee problems that imposed some restrictions on his swing but he didn’t let that stop him from being a good player. Most of all he was very personable and we kinda “hit it off”. He asked me about myself and I in turn asked about him and thus the fact of him being a professional chef became the topic of conversation.

I enjoy cooking but I never thought of myself as anything more than someone that just tries to cook well. However it was a topic that while talking to Criss I realized that he might be willing to share a few good pointers… all the while not taking away from our golf. As soon as he asked me what I enjoyed cooking I realized I was about to learn something from a pro.

Well I replied “steak and salmon”. He asked me how I normally went about cooking.. outside grill or inside. I replied both but lately had been mostly inside trying to sear steaks will a goal of medium rare. Then the subject of a large “black skillet” came up. He highly recommended the use of a black skillet whether inside or outside. Getting the skillet very hot even outside on the grill or inside if the smoke from a hot skillet can be managed. He mentioned where he bought his steaks and continued to advise me on cooking.

So… sear the steak about 4 minutes on one side. Getting it charred to what you see as your perfection. Turn the steak over and continue searing but for only a couple of minutes. While cooking now you can add seasoning but he indicated he preferred salt, pepper mostly on protein but one can season as to their liking. He also said “sides” are best for making it individually pleasing. Check the inside of the steak to determine how ready it is and if more cooking is needed… take the skillet off the heat and sit aside with aluminum foil covering. The meat will continue to cook so be sure to constantly check to be sure not to over cook. For the salmon he mentioned the same technique but less time while turned over and suggested “gray poupon”. I know I have left something out or misquoted exactly what he said… but hopefully you get the idea and can experiment on your own if you like.

Well we finished the round of golf and agreed to partner again on the golf course. I thanked him for the cooking tips and couldn’t wait to tell my wife what I had learned. Since that day Chris and I have played quite a bit of golf together and since that day…. I have become a pretty darn good cook if I say so myself.

There is more to the story and will continue it in the near future. This is just one small story of how golf is more than a game. You never know who you might meet and what you might learn.

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