Nova Scotia

Fuego Diablo, Halifax company, mails elite steaks across Canada

Forget connoisseurs, a Halifax company is catering to "carnoisseurs" with its list of luxury steaks it's ready to deliver on any doorstep in Canada.

Matt MacQuarrie's high-steaks business attracts carnoisseurs across the country

Matt MacQuarrie cuts a steak from his online store, Fuego Diablo. He wants to bring luxury steaks to people across the country. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

Forget connoisseurs: a Halifax company is catering to "carnoisseurs" with its list of luxury steaks it's ready to deliver to any doorstep in Canada.

That's what Matt MacQuarrie calls his clients who are passionate about grilling up the perfect cut of steak.

MacQuarrie is the man behind Fuego Diablo Premium Steaks, an online company that sells prime cuts and mails them to you. 

"I decided to take something that was a passion for me and turn it into a business," he said.

MacQuarrie imports prime cuts of meat from Texas, Colorado, Alberta and Japan.

"In Canada, less than one per cent of all beef gets graded out as prime. That's the category we're dealing in."

"My motto is, we don't eat steak everyday, so when we do, we don't want to eat everyday steak," said Matt MacQuarrie of his passion for luxury steaks. (Carolyn Ray/CBC)

He ages and cuts the meat in Halifax. It's shipped across Canada in special packaging with dry ice.

MacQuarrie came up with the idea after making frequent trips to New York City and going to steak restaurants. Originally from Cape Breton, he wanted to bring the quality to steak lovers back home.

"You wouldn't find this category of steak in hardly any restaurants in the Maritimes. It's not your everyday stuff," he said.

He likens the appreciation of an expensive cut of beef to a love for fine wine, scotch or cigars.

"If you love wine, there's no shortage of places in Halifax and other cities in the Maritimes where you can go and indulge in that passion."

MacQuarrie spent a year practicing how to import the meat and safely shipping the product. The meat goes through a flash-freezing process and is vacuum packed.

"Beef is a product that can last — under the right circumstances — for a very long period of time."

If his order is staying in the Maritimes, he expects delivery to take two days, but he packs enough dry ice to ensure it will be safe for four days.

Steak appreciation

MacQuarrie says his customers appreciate the ritual of making the perfect steak.

At his prices, they're throwing away the barbecue sauce and doing everything they can to appreciate the flavour. "With these steaks we tell people simple is better."

Steaks from Fuego Diablo don't arrive cheap. They range from $60 to $250. A box of A5 rated Japanese Wagyu can top $2,000.

At first, MacQuarrie was worried he wouldn't sell his most expensive products.

"I think the second day it was on our site we got our first order and orders have been trickling in ever since."

MacQuarrie says Canada's hunger for steaks is huge. Most of his product heads to Ontario, Alberta and B.C. With grilling season starting, he says he's on track to sell 10,000 steaks over the next year.