No-chop meal: Flat iron steak

Pan seared flat iron steak with arugula salad with roasted beet vinaigrette, pumpkin seeds & quesso fresco

For the steak:


  • 1 ea 6-8 oz. New York Strip Steak or Filet Mignon
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the Salad:

  • 4 Cup baby organic arugula
  • 1 oz crumbled quesso fresco
For the Vinaigrette

  • 1-2 ea small beets steamed or roasted and peel
  • 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. Marinate steak with balsamic vinegar, Dijon and olive oil over night, remove from refrigerator season with kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, room temperature is best for cooking a steak.

  2. Pre heat a heavy cast iron skillet or griddle, cook to your desired doneness.

  3. Five minutes on each side for medium for medium rare 3.5 minutes on each side. Well done (which I don't recommend) 8 mins on each side.

  4. While your steak is cooking, place your peeled beets with sherry vinegar and cumin and love oil in a good bar blender like a vita mixer. Mix until vinaigrette is fully emulsified.

  5. Taste for salt and pepper.

  6. Dress the arugula with the beet vinaigrette arrange in the center of two plates. Rest the steak on top of the salad. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and crumbled quesso fresco.

About Charlie Ayers:

Chef Charlie is most widely known as the former executive chef for Google Inc., a position he won in November of 1999 in a cook-off, judged by the company's 40 employees.

By the time he left Google, Chef Charlie and his team of five sous chefs and 150 employees in 10 cafes across the company's Mountain View, California, headquarters were serving 4,000 lunches and dinners daily-all of the same quality and variety as in that initial interview.

In his six years at Google, Chef Charlie's contribution to the company attracted media attention around the world. He and his cafes were featured in the New York Times, London Times, France's Le Capital, the Washington Post, Food Management, Restaurants Institutions, The Food Network, and many others, as well as occupying an entire chapter ("Charlie's Place") in David Vise's book, The Google Story.

Currently, Chef Charlie just opened his new Calafia Cafe and Market A Go Go in downtown Palo Alto. His concept demonstrates that "being green" is good for the consumer, team members, environment, and local community.

Like the "fine food for the fast crowd" Chef Charlie refined at Google, the fundamental goal of Calafia Cafe & Market a Go Go is to provide the greater public with healthful, artisan-style, sustainable cuisine in a fast and affordable format.

In 2008, Chef Charlie released his first cookbook, a collection of smart recipes, many of which are offered at Calafia. Chef Charlie is available for what he calls "innovative corporate well-being" consulting-restructuring corporate food service programs.

He is also designing Micro Kitchen / Food Service programs tailored to fit the individual company's size and desired corporate culture. In his spare time, Chef Charlie sits on several advisory boards for various non profit charitable organizations such as, as well as to name a few.

For more information about Chef Charlie, go to

Calafia Cafe & Market A-Go-Go
855 El Camino Real (at Embarcadero Road)
Palo Alto, California
Phone: (650) 322-9200

>> Buy this book on Amazon: Food 2.0: Secrets from the Chef Who Fed Google

Calafia Cafe is participating in "Dining Out for Life: San Francisco"
Thursday April 29, 2010
Benefiting The Health Trust AIDS Services

Calafia is proud to participate in the Dining Out For Life event benefiting The Health Trust AIDS Services. Join us for breakfast, lunch or dinner and we will donate 25% of Café proceeds.*

*Alcohol and market sales excluded

For more information or to make a donation please visit

About "Dining Out for Life: San Francisco:"

Last year Dining Out for Life raised over $220,000 thanks to people like you. This year promises to be even bigger and better but we can't do it without your help. Call one of our participating restaurants and make your reservation today.

It will be one of the most satisfying meals you ever eat. Be sure to tell everyone you know to eat out on April 29 and thank you for your support.

The benefitting agencies include the San Francisco/Peninsula/North Bay STOP AIDS Project, AIDS Project East Bay, Allen Temple AIDS Ministry, Cal-PEP, HEPPAC/Casa Segura, Rainbow Community Center and WORLD.

For more information visit

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