When it comes to buttery and rare Japanese wagyu, American Cut’s Chef, Eric Schlicht, is no novice. Having spent 24 of his professional years in the kitchen and specializing in steakhouse cuisine, most would say he is an expert when it comes to prime cuts like the exclusive Japanese wagyu.
American Cut, located in Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic City, is one of the only locations A5 Kagoshima Wagyu can be found in South Jersey, let alone Atlantic City. We asked Chef Eric to dish out all there is to know on this A5 wagyu, arguably the finest cut of meat in the world!
Q: How did the prime A5 wagyu come to be?
Chef Eric: To truly understand and appreciate what Japanese Wagyu is, you must first understand the culture and history of Japan. Wagyu is so much more than just beef, and it must be respected as such. Eating wagyu in Japan has not always been part of their diet due to Buddhism during the Sengoku period. It wasn’t until the Edo period and the Meiji restoration that eating wagyu really became accepted. Even during this time, eating wagyu was really only seen in major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.
Even as recently as 40 years ago there were only three prefectures or brands of Japanese wagyu for the market: Kobe, Matsuzaka and Omi. Export internationally was still at this point extremely tight and controlled by the government. For the Japanese, when it comes to wagyu, it is always quality over quantity.
Q: What makes Japanese Wagyu different from most steak?
Chef Eric: First, it’s all about the genetics. The bloodline of the breeds allowed to be called wagyu in Japan must be traced back to at least 4 generations. In fact, most of all wagyu today can be traced back to twelve generations.
Grading of wagyu in Japan is not the same as how beef is graded in the United States. In the U.S., our grading system is select, choice and prime. In Japan, all harvested wagyu is given a letter grade A through C for the actual size of the animal, with A being the largest. Then, it’s given a number referring to the marbling–1 through 5, with 5 being the highest. Color and texture of the sub primal are also taken into consideration when grading this beef. Using these methods, the highest grade wagyu can receive is A5.
Q: Could you tell us more about the A5 Kagoshima Wagyu served at American Cut?
Chef Eric: At American Cut, one of our staples is the Kagoshima as well as the Miyazaki Wagyu, which are the prefectures in Japan these steaks are imported from. Being graded A5, these cuts are the highest grade Japanese wagyu you can purchase.
These products from a chef’s perspective are something I am very passionate about. Having the opportunity to experience these products is extremely rare, as the market has also been inundated by not only American wagyu but also Australian wagyu. Although both can be great beef, there is truly no comparison to true Japanese A5 wagyu.
Experience this exclusive A5 Kagoshima Wagyu at American Cut the next time you visit Ocean Casino Resort, Atlantic City. To make your reservation, visit www.theoceanac.com/venues/american-cut/ or call 609.783.8000.
To learn more about American Cut and dining at Ocean Casino Resort, visit www.theoceanac.com or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @TheOceanAC, or on Facebook at Ocean Casino Resort.