The secret to making a perfect cheesesteak, according to a golf-club chef

Nothing hits the spot like a perfectly prepared cheesesteak.

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Welcome to Clubhouse Eats, where we celebrate the game’s most delectable food and drink. Hope you brought your appetites.


Cheese and steak: a union so natural, they’ve merged into one.

The result is the cheesesteak, also known as the Philly cheesesteak, in honor of its birthplace, though the culinary reach of the iconic sandwich extends far beyond the City of Brotherly Love.

At Fox Chapel Golf Club, just outside Pittsburgh, home to a newly renovated Golden Age design, executive chef Christopher Brown puts a cheesesteak on his menu on special occasions. His recipe relies on shaved ribeye, caramelized onions, king trumpet mushrooms and a melted, aged-provolone cheese sauce, piled onto a crusty hoagie roll.

The key, Brown says, is “keeping it simple.”

Here are Brown’s straightforward tips if you’re looking to marry steak and cheese at home.

1. The meat of the matter

Don’t stint on the quality of your beef. Ribeye is your best bet, Brown says, “for being well-marbled and tender when cooked.” In a pinch, you can also use flank steak, which is lean but tender when you slice it against the grain.

2. A cold cut

You want that meat in a nice, thin slice, which is harder than it sounds if you don’t have a good knife. To simplify the task, Brown suggests putting the beef in the freezer a few hours in advance. Letting it freeze up a little “makes it easier to shave down,” he says.

3. Season simply

No need for marinade or the Colonel’s seven herbs and spices. Stick to salt and pepper, which brings out the beefy flavors.

perfect tomahawk steak
Clubhouse Eats: How to make the perfect steak, according to a private golf club’s chef
By: Josh Sens

4. Say cheese

A traditional Philly cheesesteak is topped with melted provolone sauce, known colloquially as cheese whiz. But feel free to go the non-traditional route. Brown likes using the “Alpine Cheeses,” which he says are known as “signature melters.” They include Gruyere, Comté, Emmental, Challerhocker.

5. Get on a roll

The bread, Brown says, “is just as important as everything else in the sandwich — if not more.” At Fox Chapel, Brown uses a locally made Mancini Hoagie Roll. Whatever bread you use, Brown recommends toasting it lightly. Getting it warm on the inside and crusty on the outside helps “hold all the juices in the roll.”

6. Extras, extras!

In addition to caramelized onions, Brown’s go-to’s are shaved iceberg lettuce, homemade aioli and grilled mushrooms. But there are no hard-set rules, he says, so long as you’re using good ingredients. On the side, he notes, “you can’t go wrong with truffle parmesan fries with fresh herbs.” His only other mandate: “Make sure you enjoy a cheesesteak at least once a month.”

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Josh Sens Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.