C2M sizzles steak with Boxwoods' new chef

C2M reporter Reuben Jones poses for a picture with Chef Konrad Meier of The Mason Inn’s restaurant Boxwoods. Jones was able to have a tour of the kitchen as well as cook a steak with Meier. (Jenna Beaver)

Throw in the mushrooms, add a dash of salt and pepper, mix in the house sauce and drizzle it all onto a medium cooked steak and out pops a taste of perfection.

One steak, however, would soon have to be turned into 113.

Chef Konrad Meier is two weeks into his job as executive chef of Boxwoods Restaurant at the Mason Inn. But as any chef knows, there is little time for transition in the world of food.

“There is a lot of excitement,” said Meier. “It’s the life of a chef.”

Jones is taught the proper technique of how to cook a steak in Boxwood’s kitchen by Meier. (Jenna Beaver)

And when a photographer and myself stopped by to receive a behind the scenes tour of Boxwoods and a cooking lesson from the chef, we too took part in the excitement.

Chef Meier taught us the tricks of cooking a good steak.

Keep your arm high above the steak when tossing salt onto it, shape your hand as a claw when cutting a shallot, and it may take 600 pounds of wasted sauce thrown onto the ground before you perfect the art of tossing and stirring the ingredients in your saucepan.

Once we finished cooking the steak, the chef informed us the kitchen staff had to cook another 113 later that night for a conference.

With food sizzling in the pan, Jones attempts to flip the dish mid-air. (Jenna Beaver)

The kitchen staff at the Mason Inn is responsible for every event held at the hotel. This includes conferences, weddings, room service, every meal at Boxwoods and food for the bar.

The Mason Inn opened earlier this summer and while business has been picking up at the hotel and restaurant, Chef Meier would like to see even more people check out the food.

“Were trying to get other people here,” Meier said.

While some executive chefs prefer to stay back in the kitchen, Meier prefers to meet the customers and find out what kind of food they enjoy.

“I like to get into their minds and I like to meet people,” said Meier.

Boxwoods offers an assortment of options on the dinner menu including Maryland crab cakes, local rockfish, and a daily Mason “green” plate special.

While the prices are relatively high for a college student’s budget, Boxwoods can be a good option for an elegant night out, dinner with the parents, or a fancy date-night dinner.

Besides Boxwoods, The Mason Inn also features a bar called The Well. Patrons can purchase wine and spirits as well as order from the bar menu. (Jenna Beaver)

The Mason Inn also houses a bar called “The Well” and while Meier says it is not the place to come watch a Redskins game it can be a nice relaxing option for going out and having a glass of wine and a bite to eat.

Meier comes from “Before Springs Resort” in Pennsylvania where he worked for three-and-a-half years. Meier, however, who is 48, has been cooking for a long time.

“I learned how to cook when I was six,” Meier said.

Originally from Germany he is the youngest of 11 children and four of his siblings went on to become professional chefs.

In the culinary world most training chefs chose an area of food to focus on. But Meier didn’t want to limit himself in what he cooked; he “broke out and did it all.”

Meier moved to the United States in 1986 and has cooked ever since.

Now as he brings his talent to Mason he is excited for the challenge.

“I plan on being here for a long time,” Meier said.

Meier wants to encourage all Mason students to come by and give him a visit. Currently, Boxwoods is looking to hire kitchen staff and servers and Meier says he would love for students to come and work for him.

“Come to us and be with us and work with us,” Meier said enthusiastically.


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