Until recently, I had no idea Certified Angus Beef ® distinguished itself from Angus beef. But an invitation to dine at JBF LTD, the pop up restaurant created by the James Beard Foundation in May piqued my interest and I went to find out.

On the night I attended, Chef Craig Deihl of Charleston’s Cypress was invited to present an all-Certified Angus Beef ® menu including the carpetbag steak hors d'œuvre made from dry-aged carpaccio and fried oyster pictured above. (For those who have never heard of carpetbaggers, these are small pockets of beef stuffed with oyster.) It was the perfect bite of tender meat and mollusk; I still regret I only got one. If you ever find yourself with oysters on hand, I highly recommend deep frying them, rolling them up in thinly sliced raw beef and inviting me over to help you eat them.

But, I digress. Turns out Certified Angus Beef ® is Angus beef that meets ten strict scientific standards, including more marbling than your regular Angus beef to ensure high quality flavor.

Though I always feel lucky to take part in any meal, I was especially excited to indulge my carnivorous side that night. My tablemates were incredibly nice (fellow cat lovers!) and I bumped into Max Flatow, an old high school friend who is now a professional photographer specializing in weddings and FOOD. (The above photo was taken by him.)

Though there were many highlights, I’ll torture you with just one more: Certified Angus Beef ® prime dry-aged ribeye and porterhouse. It was a good night.

Photo by Max Flatow Photography