I attended a cooking class last week at Certified Angus Beef’s Education & Culinary Center in Wooster and one of the things that caught my eye right away was the fact I didn’t have to do any cooking. The cooking was done for me, and for the dozens of other guests, by CAB Chef Michael Ollier (ABOVE).

This was encouraging. I know how to cook and I do a lot of it, but not quite with the same dexterity as Mr. Ollier. The theme for the night was “Flavors of Fall” and he demonstrated how to cook three of CAB’s popular fall recipes.

He showed us how to make beer braised short ribs, flank steak roulade and mouth-watering sliders. He also prepared a number of side dishes, and at a pace we could watch and understand.

I was not able to write all of the steps down — there were so many — but the CAB website has detailed recipes and instructions for the things that were made, and for many other beef-inspired creations.

I did get to talk a little with their communications manager, Bryan Schaaf, who sat to my left while we watched the chef and taste-tested everything he made. Schaaf told me that a portion of the proceeds from the cooking class went to Meals on Wheels of Stark and Wayne counties. Theresa Barry, president, was on hand to receive the check.

Public events

The class was the second this season that CAB has offered to the public. CAB opened their Education & Culinary Center in the spring of 2012 with the intent of serving private CAB events, but Schaaf said it has expanded to include public events, as well. Classes for spring of 2014 are in the works.

The center, he said, “gives people a little closer look at what we do,” with the ease of one location. When they opened it, I went as far as to say it was the best meal I had ever eaten. And that was the truth!

For the fall cooking class, we had four courses and four different types of locally-brewed beer to wash it all down — all brewed by Wooster Brewery in downtown Wooster. They included “West Salem White, Red Ale, New Stout and Colombian Porter.

Paul Fryman opened the brewery in August of 2012 and has brewed a successful business since. He hails from Allegheny College in western Pa., and has several years of experience working for breweries in other states, and drinking and enjoying fine beer.

Learn more

For an alphabetical listing of CAB recipes, visit the CAB website here. You can also learn more about the brand and upcoming CAB-related events. Below, I have pasted in a recipe for Flank Steak Roulade. It takes some time to prepare, but it’s delicious!

Flank Steak Roulade


2 to 2 1/2 pounds Certified Angus Beef ® flank steak (Learn more about this cut)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 ounces chopped walnuts, about 1 3/4 cups
5 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups loosely packed baby arugula
8 ounces jar sun-dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, hand crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Butcher’s twine

1. Butterfly flank with the grain to 1/4-inch thick, yielding about an eleven by fourteen inch rectangle. Place in a shallow baking dish with balsamic vinegar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
2. In a food processor, pulse together walnuts, 3 tablespoons parmesan, garlic, red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt to the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Add olive oil while blending to make a paste; set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 450° F. Remove flank, pat dry and lay flat on a cutting board. Layer with walnut paste, arugula and sun dried tomatoes. Roll and tie roast to the 11-inch length. Season the exterior evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary and pepper. Set in roasting pan with rack, uncovered.
4. Roast for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 325° F and roast an additional 60 minutes for medium rare. Allow to rest ten minutes before slicing, two slices per person.

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties.
Chris Kick
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