Pat LaFrieda makes ‘High Steaks’ TV

Pat LaFrieda shows off the burgers that his family’s business supplies 
to more than 500 New York-area restaurants.

Seventeen years ago, Pat LaFrieda hung up his stockbroker’s suit, put on an apron and became the fourth generation of his family to spend his nights in a freezer full of meat. Now, more than 500 of New York’s top restaurants depend on the LaFrieda family for their meat, poultry and artisanal burgers. With the decision to create “Meat Men,”  a reality TV show about the business, the pressure to impress is higher than ever.

Your great-grandfather, the first Pat LaFrieda, founded the company in 1922. Did you always  plan to work in the business?

Not really, no. I was a stockbroker on Wall Street, and I truly hated it. I went to my dad and said I’m considering working full-time at the company to grow it. You could tell he wasn’t so happy about that. He said, “You’re going to be rubbing pennies together!” At first I was getting up at 3 a.m. to prepare orders, then jumping in the van to make deliveries, then changing into a suit between lunch and dinner to solicit new clients.

Obviously, your dad has seen that it worked out. What is challenging about working with him?

Working in the family business is tough, and anyone who’s had that experience would understand. My dad led the course for so many years, but we still have this tension between us about how to get something done. But the best part of my day is at 3:30 a.m. when he walks in that door — I feel so much safer.

What’s it like add the pressure of a reality TV show to the tight schedule?

We already work long days, and it’s even tougher with a crew of sometimes 20 camera people following you. You’re trying to get all your trucks out and restaurants supplied, but Big Brother is over your shoulder. One of the most gratifying things about this show is seeing my dad on TV. He’s a guy who’s always stood behind the scenes; it’s our culture and the way we were brought up. My dad was always skeptical that people wouldn’t care where the meat came from, and now that they do care it blows his mind.

Where does the meat come from?

We predominantly source our meat from Wichita, Kansas — it’s 100% Black Angus cattle. The harvesting facility was the only one built from the ground up by Temple Grandin [the animal rights activist] and that really comes out in the product.

What is your favorite meal?

My favorite type of meat is lamb, so I really like a boneless lamb loin with the belly of the lamb wrapped around the underside of the eye, rolled in a thick mustard and then rolled in breadcrumbs and roasted. That’s my all-time favorite dish.

You work overnight in a 35-degree freezer, slicing and cutting. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
   
We’re a small business, and I really like the fact that we have helped other small businesses flourish. My favorite restaurants are the small ones, where the chef/owner is still in the kitchen. Seeing the restaurants as busy as they are, even in this economy, and seeing their customers happy with the meals they eat –that’s the most gratifying part of my job.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

PHOTOS: Places to visit on Shakespeare's 450th birthday

William Shakespeare would celebrate his 450th birthday on Wednesday, and England's greatest playwright let his imagination roam as widely as his characters.

National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

Books

'#GIRLBOSS': Nasty Gal CEO shares unlikely success story

Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso shares her rags to riches, dumpster to Porsche tale in her new book "#GIRLBOSS."

Movies

App Appeal: Unf— Your Habitat is a sweary…

Guilt trip yourself into some spring cleaning with the app "Unf— Your Habitat," which uses swearing and some rudeness to get you to get your s— together.

Movies

Review: 'The Other Woman' needs to be angrier,…

Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann and Kate Upton play women who team up to destroy the man they're all unwittingly sleeping with in "The Other Woman."

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Education

The benefits and challenges of intensive summer programs

Get the facts on taking an advanced college course.

Wellbeing

Why you need a facial

What can a facial do for your face that a washcloth and soap can’t?

Wellbeing

You can have your healthy snacks delivered

To take the guesswork out of procuring snacks good for you and your family, check out one of these companies.

Wellbeing

Jillian Michaels wants to ‘Maximize Your Life’

The fitness star returns for her second “Maximize Your Life Tour.”