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A recipe for rub — Carne Diablo””

For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s no shortage of things to do on the mountains in Whistler. But groups can also find ways to enjoy themselves at a more leisurely pace, such as a cooking experience with the staff of The Four Seasons resort.

One of the most popular chefs at the hotel is Edison Mays, a charismatic young man known around here as the Spicemaster. Edison is in charge of dry rubs at Sidecut, the resort’s signature steakhouse, and has created a number of flavorful mixtures for beef, pork, lamb and fish. His favorite is called Edison’s Medicine, but he also deals with novelty mixes including a blueberry rub and a chocolate mole rub.

My small group joined Edison and fellow chef Tory for a rub-making class of our own this morning. The two had prepped an area for us outside in the courtyard, with dozens of jars full of fresh spices, salts, sugars and other ingredients. Before begining, we took sample smells and tastes of some exotic ingredients, such as habanero powder and smoked salt, and began to get a feel for what we would like in a rub. Then the chefs worked individually with each of us to create a recipe that would accompany our favorite meats.

I’m a steak guy, and I love full, spicey flavors, so I chose to go for a strong rub that would accompany red meat with a sensation that is both sweet and hot. The chefs helped me to pick out the best ingredients, grind them and then mix them into a rub. Some of my classmates created rubs for fish, pork and chicken.

In the end, the chefs encouraged each of us to choose a name for our new rub; I decided on the Mexican-inspired ‘Carne Diablo.’ We packaged our new createions up in containers to take home. I can’t wait to slather my diablo rub all over a steak and throw it on the grill.

The recipe for Carne Diablo rub is roughly this:

  • 1 tablespoon of salt, ground fine
  • 2 smoked chili pods (black cardemon)
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of  ground black peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper

This recipe should produce enough rub to liberally coat 6-8 steaks.


Chef Edison Mays

Chef Tory helping out

Creating an original rub

Brian’s ‘Carne Diablo’ steak rub

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.