The pursuit of steak

Jay was a passionate man and a man of passions. His smile, warmth and wit meant his enthusiasms were easily shared. It was impossible not be captivated by whatever was interesting him. One particular obsession that I had the pleasure of sharing was his pursuit of the perfect steak.

There are two ways to look back on my time in Argentina with Jay. The first was that he, Olivia, Lucy and I embarked on a holiday to combine adventure, wildlife, culture and wine. The second was that he inducted us into his pursuit for the perfect steak. Jay’s natural charm meant the former morphed seamlessly into the latter and I didn’t even notice.

A familiar pattern quickly evolved. By day, we explored a fascinating country: in Buenos Aires we saw spectacular tango, Mendoza gave us wonderful wine and we drank hot chocolate that felt like liquid gold in Bariloche. By night, we roamed the restaurants.

As we settled for dinner, early conversation would be laced with expectation. Stories of meat-based nostalgia would be shared around the table. Menus would be hotly debated only to needlessly confirm that, yes, we would indeed order steak.

When the meal arrived, Jay’s verdict would set the tone for the evening. A good steak meant the night would begin with a bang: conversation would flow and another cork would be popped. A bad steak would prompt a brief period of introspection, but plans for future steaks would quickly be made and another cork would be popped. Regardless, Jay would effuse throughout.

We never did find the perfect steak. But deep down I don’t think we wanted to. After all, if we had then our quest would have had to end.

Cerys Morgan