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Beef's Premium Depends on Quality

Certified beef provides taste and consistency.

Real estate value is determined primarily by location, location, location.

Steak is valued for taste and consistency, taste and consistency, taste and consistency.

The executive chef for New York City's famed Waldorf-Astoria hotel says he uses only Certified Angus Beef because it provides those two things which beef must: high-quality taste and consistency.

John Doherty, after 30 years at the famed New York City landmark hotel, says he has always worn big shoes in fulfilling local tradition. One of Doherty's charges is the Bull & Bear Steakhouse inside the Waldorf-Astoria.

"New York steakhouses are expected to have Prime beef," he says. "So I was under pressure to use Prime beef."

Despite that, in the mid 1970s Doherty became one of the first chefs to latch onto Certified Angus Beef. At that time, only Choice-grade CAB was available, but Doherty said it was already superior to the Prime beef of the day.

When the owners came to examine what their crazy chef was doing, he showed them both products and without knowing which was Prime and which was CAB Choice, they picked Certified Angus Beef. They did the same in blind taste tests, he says.

Moreover, CAB's standards made it the only product of its day which was pretty much the same from cut to cut.

Consistency remains a huge issue for beef in the restaurant environment, Doherty says. It was especially poor when he discovered CAB 23 years ago.

When CAB Prime beef became available about 2001, Doherty moved all his purchasing up to the higher quality grade, and says today it is "off the charts" for both quality and consistency. Therefore it meets his customers' expectations.

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