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The Art of Cooking Steak with CHEF MARCO


What are the secrets to cooking a perfect juicy steak, you ask? Well, Chef Marco Riva, executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, is here to share with us the best ways to produce the most tantalizing and finest piece of steak that has ever graced your plate.

When you look up recipes for cooking the perfect piece of steak online – be it a sirloin, rib eye or tenderloin – your screen will be flooded with numerous techniques from all over the culinary world making it almost impossible to pick the right one!

“Steak is actually really simple if you follow the basic instructions,” said Chef Marco, who was born in Lake Como, Italy. “Every culture will have its own preferred style of cooking, but more or less they share the same basics.”

His first piece of advice is to never cook meat that is still frozen or cold on the inside and always remember to season it with generous amounts of salt, pepper and oil on all sides, including the fat. Chef Marco prefers using sea salt because its texture can cut through the meat, and also olive oil for being more resilient to high temperatures which will not leave a burnt aftertaste unlike other types of oils.

“Many people like to slice the fat off but I believe it is a crucial part of the piece that gives the steak extra flavour and crunch,” the chef said passionately.

Chef Marco shared with us one of the most common ways of cooking steak with just two simple steps: firstly, panfry the meat with basic seasoning for a few minutes then take it off the heat; secondly, coat the semicooked meat with herbs like garlic, thyme, rosemary and a generous amount of butter before placing it into the oven, for the final touch. This will give the steak incredible layers of flavour and texture from applying two to different styles of cooking.


“There’s a technique I love to do when panfrying steak – I start with the sides to get the flavours out then the fats to give it some crunch and finally, I end it with the bone to transmit heat to the inner section of the piece,” said the talented chef.

Although timing is crucial when cooking steak, Chef Marco believes in never using a timer because every steak may require a different time frame. Therefore, the fundamental indication to find a steak’s doneness lies in the look and feel.

Another absolute no-no while cooking steak is to pierce the meat with a fork to flip it over or to check its doneness because this will cause the juices inside leak out and dry it out. Furthermore, in order to serve a juicy and crunchy steak, always leave the meat to rest before slicing it.

One strong piece of cooking advice shared by Chef Marco is to never be afraid of making mistakes and taking your time to learn from them, because “you do not build Rome in one day”.

“Even professionals mess up all the time,” said the humble chef. “Different kitchen, different equipment, different conditions all play a role in giving different results. So what you see on recipes or videos may not be the reality. Be ready to mess up and use it as a learning curve until you find your comfort zone in the kitchen.”

Although a lot of Chef Marco’s cooking style is still influenced by his hometown in Italy, he constantly keeps himself updated with local trends and palates. “This line of work gave me the opportunity to meet new people and learn new things,” said the chef.

He recalls being inspired to embark on this career path when he used to hear customers of a small town restaurant passing comments such as “give my compliments to the chef” as a sign of gratitude and satisfaction, which made him fall in love with the idea of serving people with great food.

I would like to wrap this up by truly giving our compliments to the chef, Chef Marco, for presenting us with an outstandingly tantalizing steak, while wishing our readers happy steak experimenting!

Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta
Jalan Jend. Gatot Subroto
Kav. 18, Jakarta
T: +62  21 22771888
Twitter: @FSJakarta
Facebook: FourSeasonsHotelJakarta

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