Taylors market, Danny johnson, whole animal butchery sacramento

Danny Johnson


Danny Johnson, Taylors Market
Taylor’s Market Butcher Danny John- son is a 1982 graduate of the Oregon Meat Cutting School. He started working at Taylor’s on May 2nd 1983 and became part owner in October of 1987. In January 2007 Danny and his wife Kathy became sole owners of Taylor’s.Danny continues to educate himself about the world of meat and butchering by travelling and stopping at every butch- er shop he can find. Meat Cutting is not something that can be taught in a 3 hour course, the “basics” yes, but it is an ongoing education and evolution. Danny is encouraged by the growing interest in whole carcass butchery, an artfom which was nearly lost due to mainstream grocers. Whole carcass butchery has always been the art of Taylor’s Market.Danny’s philosophy is, “A good butcher should know how to feed the animal, eat the animal, and everything that has to be done between those two points”.

brandon harpster, single barrel restaurant, whole animal butchery

Brandon Harpster


Brandon Harpster, Single Barrel Restaurant
Brandon Harpster is a Chef-Instructor at Southeast Community College and the Executive Chef for Single Barrel Restaurant in Lincoln, NE.  He is a chef/butcher who has embraced his Nebraska heritage and utilizes the amazing local meats that are being produced in his own backyard.  He is a passionate chef that regularly preaches the “gospel” of heritage pork to his students and to his customers in the restaurant.  He teaches whole animal utilization in a real world setting at the college. The Single Barrel restaurant menu is driven by Nebraska ingredients and utilizing the entire pig and the best beef Nebraska has to offer.

Jon Gonzales, El dorado Meat Collective

Jon Gonzales

Jon Gonzales, El Dorado Meat Collective
Jon Gonzales is the founding member of the El Dorado Meat Collective (EMC), a traveling butchery and short-course, hands-on meat preparation educator, working collaboratively with freelance, professional BG butchers.  The EMC provides instruction in whole-animal butchery, transformation and preservation techniques.  After having worked in Tuscany Italy with various Norcino families (artisans) and attending technical classes in California and the Mid-West (meat science) Jon wanted to share his passion with others.  The EMC aims to bring citizens together in small groups, breaking down whole animals communally, discussing sustainability (sadly how meat has become a commodity) and our choices in becoming part of a more sustainable food system respecting the soil, the animals and farmers without whom we undoubtedly fail mother earth.  The EMC is also an epicurean adventure offering a variety of opportunities for “foodies” to learn and collaborate.  Jon leads trips for very small groups interested in the Italian countryside, slow food ways, and learning with artisans of products, meat and cheese.  He is also co-founder of Slow Food Gold Country in the El Dorado County area, North of Sacramento.

The Whole Beast, owner John Fink

John Fink


Chef John Fink founded The Whole Beast in San Francisco as a way to celebrate the art of cooking over fire a whole animal that has been humanely grown and prepared in a holistic manner, paying special attention to animal husbandry.Chef John Fink is a 43 year-old San Francisco-based chef with over 20 years of experience cooking for top restaurants including Aqua, Postrio, Ondine and Silks Restaurant, L’Orangerie and Kuleto Estate Winery in Napa. John is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu in Canada. During college he supported himself by fishing commercially for scallops, tuna and swordfish in the North Atlantic and pursued commercial fishing further in Alaska, obtaining his Able Bodied Seaman license.Drawing on his fishing days, John’s food preparation starts from the very beginning – how the animal is raised. John personally visits each farmer and tours their facilities, asking how and where the animals spend their day, what they are fed, where they sleep and how they are finished, walking in each farmer’s footsteps.

Bilal Aslam

Bilal Aslam

Bilal Aslam is a culinary student at the Art Institute of Washington. He aspires to pursue ventures in whole animal butchery and food service, which also promote the humane treatment of animals, in compliance with the Islamic guidelines for Halal meat. He seeks to provide access to delicious, wholesome, fresh, humanely raised and slaughtered meat that is both spiritually and physically nourishing to his community, while hoping to inspire others to do the same.

Sutter Meats, Terry Regasa whole animal butcher shop, butchers guild members

Terry Ragasa

Sutter Meats is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Terry and Susan Ragasa. Terry brings several years of industry experience including an invaluable apprenticeship with Master Butcher Joshua Applestone of Fleisher’s Grass Fed and Organic Meats in the Hudson Valley of New York.  Under Josh’s tutelage, Terry studied all aspects of traditional butchery and learned the importance of sustainable sourcing for quality and taste.  After his apprenticeship, Terry went on to ply his trade in New York City where he developed the first whole animal butchery program in Fort Greene Brooklyn, and helped to open a green grocer and butchery in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Susan, who after more than a decade of managing a team of print production professionals at Christie’s Auction House in New York City, was craving meaningful, community-supporting work.  Inspired by the writing of Wendell Berry, she made a life change and went to work at the very same butcher shop where Terry got his start. She brings her experience in management and butchery to tackle the unique logistical challenges of running an independent butcher shop.

Francois Vecchio, El Dorado Meat Collective, charcuterie, master butcher,


ARCHIVED | This is a rare and special opportunity to learn from a true master. Join El Dorado Meat Collective on JUNE 25-28 IN SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA!

Francois Vecchio, born to a family with long traditions in butchery, began his own journey in 1958, apprenticing in Switzerland, Italy and France.  After a lifetime of working in butchery shops, large and small, consulting with commercial meat producers and small butchery start-ups, and writing beautifully expressive books on the subject, Francois is happy to share his knowledge with the next generation of butchers.  At the conclusion of his 2015 road-trip across the USA, checking-in with charcuterie aficionados in state after state, Francois is back home in Northern California and ready to partner with the El Dorado Meat Collective to provide this hands-on apprentice’s workshop for a limited group of students.  In this seminar Francois, also known as “The Poet of Pork”, will share the fundamentals of hand trimming pigs respecting their natural anatomy, demonstrate differences between European and American cuts, and give proper attention to sorting the lean and fat for further processing into products such as:

Coppa ~ Pate ~ Fermented Salami ~ Mortadella ~ Coppa di Testa & Much More!

Old world techniques will be demonstrated, including using various casings from the animal, learning to incorporate lardelli into emulsified product, applying an eye to lean/fat particle definition and tying the sausages with hemp twine signifying an artisan product.  Francois will lead the fermenting application techniques with a salumi curing case too!

French born and trained Pastry Chef  Stepahie Lamour will join Francois in specialty products such as Pate en Crute and Brioche stuffed with sausge!

In addition to an intense schedule in the kitchen classroom, we’ve allotted plenty of time to decompress and network with your fellow apprentices, from a welcome gathering at a Sacramento sausage hot-spot, breakfast, lunch, dinners and a closing reception featuring the products made during the seminar!  We believe that the relationships that you develop at an event like this can be as valuable as the skills you learn.

This will be an intimate “Hands On” workshop with only 8 participants working directly with Francois.  The cost is $2,200 per participant. The cost includes all meals during the seminar.  Lodging and transportation not included, however once booked we will send you a link to a group rate at the Springhill Suites Sacramento Airport, in Natomas.  Each participant will also have the option to take home products made during the week and the EMC will ship out a representation of products requiring longer-term aging, such as fermented salami, to each participant when done maturing!

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California – Sacramento is just 10 minutes away from SMF airport.

Join us for this very special opportunity to spend four invaluable days with Francois Vecchio, a real legend in the meat world both here and abroad!

Click here to view agenda (note that the agenda is designed to convey a general framework of the class, details are subject to change with the wishes of the students or the whim of the instructor).

Click here to view the introduction to Francois Vecchio’s Video “The Art and Philosophy of Producing Quality Pork”.

NOTE:  You will not be able to enroll for this class online due to limited availability!  Please call Jon Gonzales at 530-417-6180 for questions and enrollement.  

Whether you are in the craft or an enthusiast this workshop if for you!  Participants will receive a copy of Francois’ latest book and video in advance, a prerequisite read and watch prior to attending the class.  All participants are required to bring their own butchering tools and knives of choice.  Chef knives are not adequate for this seminar.  Questions please call Jon at 530-417-6180.

pulled pork, peter hertzmann, recipes, knife skills illustrated

Pulled Pork, need we say more?

Pulled Pork from BG member and author Peter Hertzmann 

Next time you’re in the area, drop in at Cape Fear BBQ & Chicken in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It’s easy to find on Grove Street, State Route 24, not too far from Fort Bragg. Order a BBQ Sandwich. You’ll get an moderate helping of pulled pork and a garnish of slaw on a plain hamburger bun. The sandwich will set you back $4.19. I order two with a side of Brunswick Stew.

This is the part of the south where barbecue means pulled pork. North Carolina barbecue is nothing like Memphis, St. Louis, or Texas barbecue. It’s closer to Hawaiian Kalua Pig than to most other mainland versions of barbecued pork.

The basic method to prepare pulled pork may be the world’s simplest cooked-meat recipe. Place a large piece of pork shoulder in a covered pot, and cook in a low-to-medium, say 325 °F (160 °C), oven until the meat shreds easily. A lower temperature will work just as well, but it will take slightly longer to reach the desired result. You don’t need to preheat the oven. It doesn’t matter if the meat still has bone or doesn’t. If you can’t find a lid for your pot, cover the top tightly with foil. If you have a crockpot, that’ll will work, too.

After the first couple of hours of cooking, I usually turn the meat once an hour, but this isn’t absolutely necessary. The most important endpoint is that the meat shreds easily. This takes a bunch of hours. Once the meat is shredded, mix the accumulated juices from the pot in with the shreds for serving.

Want to fancy up the recipe? Thoroughly rub the meat with a prepared meat rub of your choice. Then air-dry the meat overnight in your refrigerator on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. If you don’t have time for the overnight drying, then cook the meat right after you rub it. The meat rub doesn’t have to be conventional; I’ve used a rub made from ground and peeled roasted chocolate beans and dried piment de Espelette. It was yummy. Commercial rubs have also been good. Plain, no rub, is also fine.

If you want to add some sauce at the end, you can make a traditional Carolina Barbecue Sauce from vinegar and mustard. Or you can use any other form of barbecue sauce. I like chipotle sauce from south of the border.

Since I usually start with a seven- to ten-pound piece of meat and much of it remains after cooking, I pack portioned-size quantities of the cooked pork into plastic bags, for the meat into a flat layer, and vacuum seal them. When I desire pulled pork for dinner, a bag is reheated in simmering water for about ten minutes. A pair of scissors is all I need to serve the pulled pork. If you have an end-style vacuum sealer, separate the cooking juices from the meat, chill them until solid, and divide the solidified mass between the storage bags before sealing. The liquid will redistribute itself through the pork during the reheating.

This technique for cooking pork works because before cooking, the meat is about two-thirds water. During its slow heating, the collagen that give the meat structure slowly shrinks a little causing water to be squeezed from the meat. By the time the meat shreds easily, the water content of the meat is reduced to about fifty percent and much of the collagen has been converted to gelatin. The juices that accumulate in the bottom of your cooking pot is a mixture of the released water, loose proteins, and the gelatin, and is full of great meat flavor. During the cooking, the juices provide water that is converted to steam to cook the portion of the meat that is not submerged. The final cooked product has been truly braised.

Cafe Rouge, Berkeley, butchery, Marsha Mc Bride, charcuterie, good meat

Cafe Rouge Hiring/Training FT Butcher

Cafe Rouge meat market, in operation since 1996 is located in the  Fourth Street shopping district of West Berkeley.
We are seeking a full time butcher.
Minimum requirements:
Knife and butchery skills
Two years culinary experience in a professional kitchen
Customer service experience
Friendly, well groomed and cheerful demeanor.
We are willing to train a dedicated, diligent and eager person.
Cafe Rouge provides, health and dental insurance, paid vacation and sick leave. The position is an hourly wage based on experience.
Please send resume to marsha5mcbride@gmail.com
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