Members Of The Month: Joe Cloud
March — Is it seriously almost spring again? Time for lamb and pea shoots and a new member of the month. For this month, so full of hope and growth, we are looking at Joe Cloud of T&E Meats in Harrisonburg, Va. Joe runs a USDA-inspected slaughter and cut and wrap facility and is an active member of his foodshed, providing excellent service and adaptability. We all know that a farmer’s work is continued and perfected by a humane slaughter and a respectful, skilled butchering. This year, T&E launched an apprenticeship program to steward the next generation of talented meat folks. We are proud to have Joe in our membership roster and wish T&E the best of luck with their new program!
January — It is a new year and we want to celebrate a new business. Belcampo Meats just opened their first shop in Marin County, Ca. and hired the talented Chris Arentz as their first Head Butcher. Chris studied with BG hero Dario Cecchini in Italy and has been a valuable part of the team at our friends Avedano’s in San Francisco. We are excited for his new gig and to see what Belcampo farms, restaurant and butcher shop will bring to the sustainable meat game. Good luck, Chris!
December — It is the final month of an amazing year for The Butcher’s Guild! Our first full calendar year of existence and just coming off the high of our First Annual Butcher’s Guild Retreat. For this celebratory month, we have selected Bryan Butler and Benjamin Runkle as our co-MOTMs. Not only have they made the leap from producers, to farmer’s market stars, to shop-pwners, but they make dang good stuff. We are very excited about the food movement in Austin, Tx. and all of the wonderful people we have met there that make it so warm and tru-blue. Happy holidays, Bryan & Ben!
November — This is the month of gratitude and we are grateful for butchers like Oscar Yedra. Not only does Oscar brighten the lives of all of his customers at San Francisco’s Canyon Market, but he is also a true champion. Oscar (and his teammates) are the undisputed kings of Eat Real Festival‘s Flying Knives Butchery Competition. The Butcher’s Guild partnered in hosting the macho melee this year but nobody could touch Oscar’s skill and swagger. He also appears in the newly-released Second Edition of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers.
October — So hard to pick a member this month, as we just spent a magical with 35 of our members during The Butcher’s Guild First Annual Retreat. But we want to give a special shout to Joshua Martin. Josh is a Whole Foods butcher in the bay area and is one of the most helpful, enthusiastic people we know. He jumped into the Eat Real Competitions (and his team won our Master Case Competition!) with verve and was there at every step of the retreat to schlep and assist, all with a smile on his face. You’ve got a bright future, kid!
Josh Martin (center), with Pepe and Berlin Reed
July — This month we are all hyped on BG Member Stephen Pocock. Not only is Stephen the Salumiere of Boccalone, home of *tasty, salted pig parts* but he spends his free moments making Damn Fine Bacon. Stephen is a wonderful and enthusiastic educator and this month he is teaching a salumi tasting course at The Cheese School of San Francisco and next month he will be teaching at our Annual Butcher’s Guild Retreat for our lucky members. Stephen will also be one of the judges for the Eat Real Festival Flying Knives contest this September for the fourth year! photo credit: Scott R Kline Photography
June — This month we are singing the praises of Pete Balistreri, of Tender Greens in San Diego, Ca. Pete and Tender Greens have helped create a new kind of ‘fast food’, that honors local producers and proves that a casual meal out can be reasonable, fresh and fair. Now Pete is making salumi with his new company, P. Balistreri Salumi, aren’t we lucky ducks? Bravo to Pete for his entrepreneurial spirit and for taking his curing skills beyond the kitchen walls.
May — This month we are celebrating Lauren Garaventa, of La Boucherie on Vashon Island. Not only does she live in an agrarian paradise in the Pacific Northwest but she is a fantastic butcher. She recently got her first review and she has begun teaching classes on Sea Breeze Farm farm, a part of La Boucherie, where she lives. We are proud of Lauren for sharing her knowledge and spreading the wisdom that comes from knowing your food and the skills of cutting, curing and creating.
April – Fresh from our trip to NYC for the IACP Conference, our MOTM is Rachael Pepe, AKA Pepe butcher at Marlow & Daughters in Brooklyn. We had the chance to meet Rachael in person finally and were just so impressed by her attitude and work ethic. The manager at M&D had to take a medical leave and Pepe stepped in with grace and enthusiasm. She has used the opportunity to learn new skills and keep the shop up to its high standards. Rachael, it was great to meet you and we are proud to have smart, earnest members like you in The Butcher’s Guild!
March – Spring is wet around here and we are thankful for the rain. We are also thankful for the work of our MOTM Christian Caiazzo, butcher, chef and owner of Osteria Stellina in stunning Point Reyes Station, Ca. Christian’s restaurant (and his coffee bar and his grilled cheese sandwich stand) all express the bounty of west Marin county agriculture. Whole animals from local farms turn into beautiful Italian dishes like our favorite beef stew recipe. We are so proud of chef members like Christian that are a part of their communities. Christian even runs a small farm that supplies his kitchen with seasonal green things. Dishes like ‘beans & greens’ and a focus on root vegetables, hearty greens and braised meats remind us that even at the end of a long, strange winter, seasonal can be rewarding.
February 15 — Post Valentine’s Day, we are still full of love for our MOTM Michael Dulock, butcher, fishmonger and owner of Concord Prime & Fish in Concord, Ma. Michael’s shop is a resource for the community, sourcing locally-raised and harvested proteins and ensuring their quality. Today, our warm feelings are not just focused on his pride of craftsmanship, but also on his brotherly love. Michael has put a call out to his fellow BG members to send in pictures of their shops and meat counters, so he can have a Butcher’s Guild wall at Concord Prime. We are so awed that Michael is celebrating his peers and his community. This kind of fraternity is what we are all about and it is a rare and beautiful thing in any industry. You are our Valentine, Michael!
February – Stellar BG-er that has earned MOTM status today is Brad Farmerie, chef and owner of several of our favorite hip New York spots: Public, The Monday Room, Madame Geneva (speakeasy-ish gin bar with snacks!) and the new Saxon & Parole. Part of his noted style is the work of AvroKo, a design team that includes Brad’s brother. Brad made some TV fans during his stint on The Next Iron Chef but we are more interested in his not-so-humdrum work in a real kitchen. Not only does he bring meat-centric cooking to delightful new extremes (a multi-course blood menu!) but he eloquently shares his thoughts on the subject (see this fabulous cover story from Food Arts magazine). What you might not get from sitting down at one his restaurants, is that Brad is an excellent individual, always willing to offer thoughts, tips, or a full-on how-to to a friend (we were lucky enough to walk through his headcheese technique with him). We are proud to work with Brad and glad he is a friend and Charter Member of the BG!
January – MOTM on this beautiful Wednesday is Jesse Griffiths, owner of Dai Due in Austin, Tx. Jesse doesn’t just go straight to the farm to source his meat, he goes to the field, forest and stream. An avid hunter, he is educating Texans in the art of field dressing and wild game cooking. This dedication to not eating ‘dirty meat’, as he calls it (i.e. commodity meat), makes him both a part of Texas culture and apart from it. He also operates a roving butcher shop, with handmade charcuterie from more pedestrian breeds. And he possesses a quality we adore- he is a good friend to members of his local meat community, offering support, collaboration and advice when called upon. Jesse also has a book coming out this fall that will give us all a vicarious and educational hunting and on-site cooking experience. Can’t wait to get our mitts on a copy of that. Go, Jesse!
December — MOTM this go-round are our friends Erika Nakamura and Amelia Posada, owners of Lindy & Grundy Local, Pastured and Organic Meats in Los Angeles, Ca. Erika and Amelia have a beautiful shop that has already become a part of the national food scene, in its first year. We love their commitment to good meat and over-the-top special recipes like Kimchee sausage; but, even more, we love their hearts. They take being a member of the community seriously, always hosting a visiting butcher, teaching their trade and event starting a neighborhood association for businesses in their quarter. Check out their meat on fBizarre Foods America this season and hear what host Andrew Zimmern has to say about their shop here.
November — Our first MOTM of the new year is Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher. Berlin has been a key member of The Butcher’s Guild from the get-go, getting our blog started, joining us at countless events and interviewing members all over the country. He has recently moved headquarters from Portland, OR to Brooklyn after a few years of steady traveling to cook and teach. We are inspired by Berlin’s commitment to cooking from the ground up. He spends time with farmers, even slaughtering much of the meat he cooks. Butchering and co-learning on site, he then makes fabulous meals for his roving gastronomic adventure. Now he is focused on brunch bashes in Brooklyn. Yum! We are so excited that this talented young man just got a book deal and we can’t wait to hear what he has to say about eating ethically. Go, Berlin!
October — Our MOTM is Sarah Wong, chef instructor at Seattle Community College’s culinary program. Sarah took her self-education beyond the boundaries of the United States, learning seam butchery from the Weisners and then working with the Chapolards in Gascony. She has also been instrumental in the Seattle Culinary Academy, which is dedicated to local and sustainable food preparation. The BG had the opportunity to see Sarah in action at SCCC this year and meet her students. She has given them knowledge of local-sourcing and butchery with them that has clearly created a passion in them. We are so proud to have a member of the Butcher’s Guild that is inspiring the next generation of chefs. Thank you, Sarah!
Spetmeber — Our MOTM is Sam Monnagam, owner of Bi-Rite Market, a San Francisco grocery shop that his family has owned for 26 years. The market sells the finest locally-sourced products and buys whole animals for its butchery program, run by the talented Morgan Maki. On top of their retail excellence, Bi-Rite has developed 18 Reasons, an educational non-profit organization bringing food and art to the people through classes, events and exhibits. They also have a farm and an ice cream shop (with a well-deserved line out the door). AND Sam wrote Eat Good Food: A Grocer’s Guide to Shopping, Cooking & Creating Community Through Food which came out this fall and walks you through the aisles of a grocery store to become more engaged with your community and nutrition, as a shopper. We are proud to have you in The Butcher’s Guild, Sam!
August — Our MOTM is Berry Salinas, founder of Meat Revolution, a butcher’s desire to start the process from conception. Not only does Berry work all day as a butcher but she goes home and raises animals at her farm. We love her commitment to understanding what it takes to make nourishing meat, as Dario Cecchini says: a good life, a good death, a good butchering and a good preparation. And Berry is doing it all! Way to go, Berry!
July — Our MOTM is Matt Jennings, owner of Farmstead and La Laiterie Bistro in Providence, Rhode Island. Farmstead is primarily a cheese shop, where Matt and his wife, Kate, bring their talents of meat-curing and pastries, respectively, into the limelight. La Laiterie Bistro gives the couple even more room for expression, with a full menu. Matt and his team have won THREE TIMES at the Cochon 555 competition in the region; he has been #14 on Saveur’s 100, was nominated for a James Beard this year and has consistently brought national attention to his neck of the woods. Matt is also a friend to many chefs and an all-round awesome guy to know. Keep up the delicious and progressive work, Matt!
June– Our MOTM is Ryan Farr, owner of 4505 Meats in San Francisco, California. Not only does Ryan transform whole, locally-raised meats in gorgeous products, BUT he just wrote a book. We are so proud of Ryan and Whole Beast Butchery from Chronicle Books. The cookbook/butchery guide is full of rich photos that walk you through the process of breaking down different primals and sub-primals of meat, in a way an adventurous home cook can understand. And he shares some of his sumptuous recipes for meat. You can order the book (or some chicharrones or a Turducken) from Ryan’s site.
May– Our MOTM is Marsha McBride, owner of Cafe Rouge in Berkeley, California. Cafe Rouge’s Smoked Beef Tongue was announced as a finalist with this year’s Good Food Awards a few days ago. McBride has long put protein at the top of her priorities, opening a meat counter right in the dining room. After cooking at Zuni Café, Marsha had learned the skills to make an ingredient-driven kitchen. Her award-winning charcuterie is available for take-home or in the beautiful dining room.
April– Our MOTM is Rusty Bowers, owner of Pine Street Market in Avondale Estates, Georgia. Bowers’ undeniable passion for creating high quality charcuterie won him the first place title at the “Good Food Awards Ceremony” in San Francisco, in 2011 and we are so excited to see what he does this year. Bowers opened Pine Street Market with his wife in 2009 and is proud to be a part of the community of butchers in the Atlanta area. Rusty not only creates award-winning charcuterie, he also spends time educating by teaching a variety of cooking classes and actively doing demonstrations in the Atlanta area. Bowers plans on creating a delicious line of boutique artisan pork products that we are all anxiously waiting to taste!
March–Our MOTM is Mark DeNittis, Owner of Il Mondo Vecchio, the only USDA inspected Salumeria in Colorado. Mark is always in action, always inspired and always a quick phone call away for all of our curing queries [thank you Mark!!]. Tonight he is at the James Beard House in NY participating in FIVE. We were lucky enough to get a “behind the scenes” text or two while he was plating his Quail Galantine with Foie and Pistachio, Peach and Red Grape Mostarda and a Truffled Pork Gelee. Click here to see the full menu. As passionate about education as he is about his trade, DeNittis was also a former Chef Instructor at Johnson & Wales University and currently teaches artisanal butchery classes.
February–Our MOTM is Denny Trantham, Executive Chef at the historic Grove Park Inn, NC. To say that Denny’s got that “Southern Hospitality” is a huge understatement. He is gracious, kind, professional and enthusiastic about cooking, butchering and supporting his local food system. For those of us who have been lucky enough to set foot on the stunningly beautiful resort at Grove Park Inn; the level of responsibility and grandeur is very clear. We in the food industry know how hard it is to turn the wheels of motion in a massive high quality service machine. Denny’s dedication has made it possible to add two full time butchers to their food program at the inn. And as one of the largest resorts in the Carolinas what they do has a big impact.
January–Our MOTM is Peter Hertzmann, Author of Knife Skills Illustrated and obsessive mind behind a la’ Carte, a website of Culinary “ramblings, thoughts, comments, observations and miscellany.” Peter is also an educator; he is immersed in french and chinese cuisine and his website touts comprehensive instructional videos on cooking basics. Last month in Peter’s blog, he showed us how to make pig’s feet lollipops. We like this. As butchers, cooks and charcuterie makers buying whole animals, we always end up with an extra pig foot….or two.
– A very exciting Member of the Month, LOCAL BUTCHER SHOP, a brand new retail spot in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto! Aaron & Monica Rocchino (formerly of Chez Panisse and Paula LeDuc Catering, respectively) have just opened their all whole animal, locally-sourced and custom cut meat shop this week. A sneak preview for The Butcher’s Guild confirms that the shop is gorgeous and has lots of cool features, like a window into the walk-in cooler so customers can see all of the carnivorous inventory. The shop will also be offering a daily sandwich and with a cook of Aaron’s caliber in the kitchen, we are excited to taste what’s on the board. today’s sandwich: braised short rib, grilled onions, tomato, greens and feta on an acme herb deli roll. GOOD LUCK TO OUR MEMBERS AND FRIENDS at THE LOCAL BUTCHER SHOP!
– We are back from BG vacation and ready to celebrate Kari Underly! A Charter Member of The Butcher’s Guild, Kari has just released her book, The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising, which is an outstanding and thorough guide for the cutters in our industry and curious home butchers. Kari is also lecturing and instructing at the NC Meat Conference, which will be attending this September 11-13. Go here if you would like to come and learn about meat processing and preparation from the pros (including BG Charter Member Craig Deihl and BG Co-Founders Marissa Guggiana and Tia Harrison).
– Our MOTM is Dave Budworth. Dave is a journeyman butcher who works at Marina Meats and Avedano’s, both in San Francisco. We are honoring him at this moment for his spirit of community. Dave went to LA last week and helped our Charter Members at Lindy & Grundy’s in their time of need. They’re in such demand, they needed some added labor and expertise. Dave picked up his knives and helped them out. He has given his skills and bonhomie to Cochon 555, Heritage Fire and, happily to The Butcher’s Guild. Thanks, Dave!