WATCH: How To Prepare The Perfect Summer BBQ With Pat LaFrieda + Jay Cutler

Jay Cutler + Pat LaFriedaPhoto Credit: Pat Dunford

This is what happens when former NFL star Jay Cutler and meat master Pat LaFrieda go grilling and wine tasting in the Haute Living way — with wine pairings courtesy of Wine Access’ Vanessa Conlin, one of only 57 MW’s in America (with an assist from Haute Media Group co-founder Seth Semilof).


Jay Cutler + Pat LaFriedaPhoto Credit: Pat Dunford

Famous for his dry aged beef and “chopped” not ground meat, Pat LaFrieda is a third generation butcher who has created over 50 custom hamburger blends and is the mastermind behind such burgers as the famous “Black Label Burger” at Minetta Tavern, as well as signature custom blends for the likes of Shake Shack, Union Square Café and Blue Smoke. His beef can be found at many of the nation’s best restaurants. He recently opened a state-of-the-art, $20M new facility with the largest dry-aging room in the country, which will allow the company to continue to expand its national consumer home delivery business, which has been steadily increasing. In 2012, Food Network debuted MEATMEN, the reality show that followed Pat, his father Pat LaFrieda Sr. and his cousin Mark Pastore through their daily work, meeting with the most famous chefs around in the most sought-after restaurants.

LaFrieda has two Pat LaFrieda Original Filet Mignon Steak Sandwich kiosks at Citi Field – the home of the New York Mets, in addition to a full service restaurant, the Pat LaFrieda Chop House. And in 2014, LaFrieda Meats became the official burger of the Mets, in addition to adding a Meatball Slider stand. He also operates a Pat LaFrieda stand at DUMBO’s Time Out Market. In fall 2014, Atria Books published Pat’s first book, Meat: Everything You Need to Know. It’s a veritable meat encyclopedia from which home cooks can learn Pat’s best meat tips, recipes, stories and more. His next book, Glorious Beef, is coming out October 2021.


Jay CutlerPhoto Credit: Pat Dunford

Born and raised in Indiana, Jay Cutler is a former NFL quarterback whose storied career lasted for 12 seasons. Prior to entering the league, Cutler was a Vanderbilt Football star who started all four of his years as a student there. After graduation, he went on to be drafted by the Denver Broncos for the 2006 season. From there, he spent the majority of his career in Chicago playing for the Bears. Now retired and living in Nashville, Cutler has begun to fulfill his post-NFL dream career as a butcher shop owner.


CUTSPhoto Credit: CUTS

CUTS is a monthly subscription box featuring 100% American-raised and grazed meats, will deliver hand-picked, high-quality proteins each month to your doorstep courtesy of legacy farms across the United States. It’s a joint venture between Cutler and LaFrieda, who havel hand-select meats from the top 4% of America’s beef and protein. Consumers can choose from either the “Jay” or “Pat” box. A typical box could include Fresh USDA Prime Center Cut NY Strips and Filet Mignons, high-end chicken, pork chops, and the Jay’s Blend Beef Burgers, a brisket and beef belly blend exclusive to CUTS. To sign up for CUTS or learn more, visit


Jay Cutler + Pat LaFriedaPhoto Credit: Pat Dunford

PAT: “I pre-salt it. That’s the only seasoning I use when going on to the grill. One big tip that completely changed my cooking life was making sure I didn’t use pepper before. Pepper was a big mistake. Just salt right before. You wouldn’t want to marinate something in pepper because it will have an emulsification effect. So certainly pepper, but after. When you’re dealing with high heat, the one thing you don’t want to do is burn the pepper, because it will have a negative flavor.” 

JAY: “Growing up [in Indiana], we hunted deer, turkey, I always had a knowledge and appreciation of where meat came from. As I got older and older i dove itnot it I want the best of the best meat-wise. People always talk about organic, vegetables, etc, but I think people kind of glaze over the meat industry on where that comes from and how it’s produced, managed, packaged and shipped; the whole nine years. I went down that rabbit hole of what makes sense for me. I got very lucky that Pat called up and we hit it off, and here we are now.”

VANESSA:A few things that I kind of always follow as a rule of thumb but, overall, food and wine pairing is meant to be fun and adventurous, and so there are certain things that I gravitate towards and certain things that I that I don’t but the most fun, I think, is just to play, you know and experiment, so I think there really are no rules [when it comes to your palate…Probably the most frequent pairing would be a cabernet sauvignon so we’re going to do that, and this is what I think is an absolutely beautiful cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley, but what can be kind of surprising is it actually Chardonnay, which may not be the first thing you think of when you think about but that actually pair really, really beautifully. And I love that Pat only salted [the hanger steak] because I think this kind of buttery goodness with a chardonnay an actually  accentuate any sort of fattiness in a beautiful way; it kind of melts almost with any fat that’s in the cut.”