Geoff from Foodbeast here, and I’m in Columbus, Ohio About to meet with Chef Marcus Meacham AKA “Chef Meach” of Steam This self-taught culinary guru has worked his way to the top of the food scene in Columbus With his flavorful takes on fluffy steambuns. Today he’s about to create a groundbreaking recipe with the original White Castle burger Because this is… For the Love of the Slider. Before we headed into Downtown we grabbed a few sliders from the White Castle truck to find out what originally brought Meach to Columbus. Geoff: So what brought you to Columbus, Marcus? MArcus: An ex-girlfriend…thanks for asking. Geoff: I’m sorry I didn’t know! Marcus: It’s all good now, it’s led to some beautiful opportunities. I love Columbus. Geoff: Marcus, was there a moment when you knew that food was going to be your future? Marcus: I started my career as a personal trainer. They would see me as the torture guy. Then I started cooking on the side… I felt loved. Instead of all that hate and torture that I was giving to people… people started trying to come in and have me prepare their food for them. Geoff: I’ve heard you have your own “Harold and Kumar”-esque journey to White Castle. Marcus: Alright, so it was in college. Had our sober driver drive us about 40 minutes to the closest White Castle, alright? There’s three of us eating and we got two crave cases. Geoff: That’s a lot of food. Marcus: Sixty for three people. We ate most of the food before we even got back home! The last thing I remember is looking up off the patio and the sun’s rising. I think I had to be in class the next day too. It was not the best decision to make, you know? Geoff: But it was the best decision of the day.
Marcus: But it was the best decision to make! It was awesome. Geoff: So you’re gonna do your own take on the White Castle slider. Break it down. What are you doing for us today? Marcus: I’m gonna do my version of a breakfast slider. I’ll make a hot sauce but with that I’m gonna make red eye gravy. Because that’s something a lot of people don’t know about White Castle’s coffee: It’s delicious. And then see what happens next. Poached egg on there? You know? Let’s have fun with it! Geoff: Once our bellies were full, Marcus and I were ready to get moving and get to know the neighborhood. Geoff: Marcus, what neighborhood are we in man? Marcus: We are in the Short North arts district, right down the street from campus. Geoff: And has this neighborhood had an effect on your culinary career? Marcus: It definitely has, you know. I used to work in this neighborhood and I would use social media to blow it up on my features. So I’d blow a feature up then put a time limit on it and then people would come in So then I realized what the people of Columbus wanted. Geoff: And that’s a strategy you still use to this day? Marcus: To this day I still do it. So, going on about 6 years I’ve been doing this. Geoff: Chef Meach needed a few key ingredients to create his own unique White Castle breakfast slider So we headed to North Market located in heart of downtown. After shopping for local ingredients we headed to Meach’s pride and joy, Steam. His fluffy steam buns concept located in the back corner of Little Rock bar. So Steam is a concept; I take Mantou buns, which are like big, fluffy, pillow-like steam buns, but I take them and I do like savory twists on sandwiches. So like, I have a Cubano. I have Supreme Pepperoni. I have a shrimp, with bacon and pineapple. I’m kinda like just throwing the sandwich game on its head by using these steam buns that normally aren’t used for this application. Geoff: You’ve said food is your assault, what do you mean by that? Marcus: Think about, you just like punch someone in the face like I wanna constantly punch my customers in the mouth with flavor. In a nice way! You know, like punch’em then hold’em. Geoff: There’s a lot to do, I think we should probably get rolling. Marcus: Yeah, I have a lot of work to do! Alright so I’m gonna start off by attempting to make sausage. This is the whole slider, I’m just gonna take the whole thing. Because the bread will actually help in the binding process. These are just original sliders, no cheese. And these are the sausage ones, the breakfast ones. One of the best breakfasts ever. So I have some toasted fennel seed, gonna throw that right in the mix. Then this is jalapeño powder, lot of north market spices, tiny bit of salt. This is urfa. Raisiny, bring out some sweetness in this. Might actually do an egg. Make sure everything just comes together like a nice group. And then I’m gonna take some of this manchego cheese. Why use such an expensive cheese for this dish right here? You know, because it’s pinky out! Gotta be fancy. And then we’ll take a jalapeño, do this… So this is my sausage filling, smells like a fun night out. So now I’m taking this caul fat And I’m just gonna kinda make little dumplings with this filling. These vary in size, but you know that’s just the way they were born. Alright so now we’re going to take these out to the smoker outside. My little ghetto, makeshift smoker. You see already they’re tighening up. That’s dope. I’m gonna let them do their thing in there for about 45 minutes to an hour, then we’ll come back to them. Alright, so now I’m gonna make my version of a red-eye gravy, kinda hot sauce hybrid. We’ll start off with duck fat, then we’ll start just layering flavors in this pan. This is my house mustard, and my molasses. Next I’m gonna do Thai chili paste, this is not traditional whatsovever. Next, a good ol’ White Castle coffee. Stuff’s delicious, but also makes a great sauce. Come up to a simmer. Stir it around. Then I’m gonna go back to my fat, pad this out a little bit. But it needs a little bit more brightness so I’m gonna add hot sauce to it. And this is a habanero hot sauce, couple drops of that. This hot sauce will light you up! Apple cider vinegar. Very sweet, very tangy, very bright. That is that, just let this reduce a little bit. Put it on the back of the burner. And now we’re gonna start our pâté. I’m gonna start off with some of these sausage patties. I’m gonna take some of these onion chips, throw them right in here. Some apple butter, couple tablespoons of that in there. Local cinnamon honey. Super good for you. A little bit of this jalapeño, and add my sage. And then, a little bit of bourbon. Gonna save this for later… Put this in here. This’ll be a nice sauce for the bottom of the bun. Alright so now I have my smoked sausages, I’m gonna take these and brown them up real quick in this cast iron. In some browned butter. A little sage in the pan for aeromatics. While those are going, I’m just gonna toast up these buns real quick. Take these off. Nice and browned up, nice and buttery. Look at that… Alright, so my build. Alright so my sweet pâté goes on first. Calm down the entire dish. Next I’m gonna do my sausages. Then I’m gonna take one of these poached eggs. A little more cheese. Why not, right? A little manchego. Then my red-eye gravy. And there you have it. Pinky out. Geoff: We’ve seen nicely plated sliders on our show.
Marcus: Yeah. This though, to me, looks like the epitome of what a Foodbeast slider should be. Give me a layer-by-layer description of what we’ve got going on here. Marcus: Before I give you the description, I took something that wasn’t broken, broke it, and made it better by adding more layers of flavor, and just going over the top and going bold with it. So on the bottom you have that nice sweetness, that pâté. Then you have that sausage. You know, the sausage that White Castle already has is great but I added more fennel to it, I smoked it. Put a nice casing on it so it has a crunch to it. Top of that we have a poached egg. White Castle does fresh eggs good, poached egg’s a little better, you know what I’m sayin? On top of that, another layer of flavor. We have the red-eye gravy hot-sauce. And then Manchego cheese! So it’s sausage, egg, and cheese to the extreme limits, do you know what I mean? It’s insane, and hopefully it tastes good because I’ve never made this before. Geoff: There’s one thing left to do.
Marcus: Only one thing! Amazing opportunity right now! Geoff: Let’s do it man. Oh my goodness! Marcus: Your yolk couldn’t stand how delicious this whole union was, it had to jump out! Geoff: That’s impressive.
Marcus: I’m going back in. Marcus: That smoke really came through in that sausage. Geoff: And for as many elements as you have in here…
Marcus: It works. Geoff: You don’t taste twelve things! You can still tell that there’s more than just sausage-protein going on. Markus, this slider is amazing. Thanks for closing out “For the Love of the Slider” with a bang. And I can’t wait to eat the rest of your menu, man. From Orange County to Chicago and New York, to Louisville and Columbus. For the Love of the Slider has spread coast-to-coast and into our stomachs. Thanks for watching “For the Love of the Slider” Are you a kitchen-savvy craver? Show off your skills and your love for the crave by visiting whitecastle.com/cookoff to submit your own unique recipe made with the iconic White Castle slider. You’ll have the chance to win a culinary craver adventure in Columbus, Ohio.