Reported in the News Letter on November 28, 1962: 100 steaks every 10 minutes is not a tall order for city chef

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A Belfast chef is happy to let the public see how simply his main job – grilling steaks – is done.

He is Thomas Flanagan, a 59-year-old native of Enniskillen, who has had culinary experience in many parts of the British Isles, including the Savoy and Ritz hotels in London, and who today will face one of the challenges of his life.

For Tom, who is chef at the new Steak House, next to the Maple Leaf Restaurant in High Street, will operate the largest charcoal grill in the British Isles and is confident that whatever the demand he will provide steaks to satisfy all appetites.

Tom will grill today 100 steaks every 10 minutes. But being a man who takes pride in his craft, no steak will be grilled in less than 10 minutes.

The steaks to be served after today’s opening ceremony will range in weight from 1/2lb to 1lb. They will be grilled to suit all tastes, which range between rare, medium to rare, underdone and well done.

Tom makes no secret of his garnishes. He says that the established favourites are mushrooms, garlic, tomato concassie and red wine. Tom says: “A steak should be put on a hot grill. This seals up the meat, retains the juices and improves the flavour.” No dripping or oil is used.

Tom believes the new grill will arouse public interest.

“I will be grilling in full view of the customers,” he said.

“I want to give them their money’s worth and let them see that grilling is not only an ‘open secret” but a worthwhile occupation.”