John Tesar has been working on a cookbook for years. To say he’s suffered a few setbacks in the production is an understatement. His original co-author and friend, noted food writer Josh Ozersky, passed away just as they got started. “We sent him a check for the initial work we did, and he died a week later,” Tesar says. “It was a huge loss. I’ve dedicated the book to him.”
Tesar’s literary agent, David Hale Smith, connected Tesar to Jordan Mackay who co-wrote the best seller Franklin Barbecue with Aaron Franklin. “Jordan is a steak lover, and he really captured my voice,” Tesar says.
Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home is a stunning tribute to steak and the intricacies of cooking cuts properly. The photography, by Dallas photographer and friend of D Magazine Kevin Marple, is perfect for carnivores.
After years of searching for a niche, Tesar has found his groove in the science of steak. His passion for dry-aging and studying the processes of how the animals are raised and the chemical reactions during aging and cooking is impressive. Over the years, I have interviewed Tesar a hundred times. This morning, I asked him one question about dry-aging, and he rambled on for five minutes, talking about his aging experiments like a mad scientist. I could not type fast enough. He is a certified beef nerd.
The book features methods for cooking steak and recipes for side dishes and sauces. It goes on sale May 2.
Tesar has other plans. He is expanding the Knife brand. The next location will be at The Shops at Willow Bend. “We’re keeping the restaurant to 85 seats and adding a butcher shop component,” Tesar says. “We will only use Texas products—Heartland and 44 Farms.” The restaurant and butchery will be flanked by Knife Burger, a take-away counter with four of Tesar’s signature burgers (Ozersky, Pimento, Magic, and Patty) and a daily special served with a choice of four shakes.