Meet Founder Marissa Guggiana!

I am so happy to post this introduction!
Meet Marissa Guggiana, co-founder of Butcher’s Guild!


Marissa Guggiana

Berkeley, CA




How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with “sustainable” meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

I began running Sonoma Direct, a USDA-inspected wholesale meat processor, in 2005. I am not a butcher myself but know well the challenges and rewards of the meat industry through running a business, trying to make a profit and make a difference. When we opened, we were only butchering large quantities of imported meat and selling cuts to hotels in Vegas, by the truckload. My curiosity and conscience led us to a model of working only with local farms and customers.


What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

Fascination is a good thing. It can only help to make a permanent shift in our eating habits. Butchery is hard work and requires a great deal of skill and intelligence to be profitable. Renewed appreciation for this work is appropriate and heartening.


What do you believe is the role of butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

Our food system has centralized for reasons that are hard to combat- financially and logistically, it makes sense to centralize, if you are going to feed a large population cheaply. But, as anyone who studies systems understands, diversity is important- in business and in nature. We need alternative routes to nourishment and we need these local food systems to be viable for everyone on the food chain. Butchers are the key to getting meat from farms to tables. They hold the knowledge to turn animals into protein and to instruct us in how to prepare that meat. So many of us have lost the will or knowledge to cook and butchers are helping to restore that knowledge.


What does being a member of The Butcher’s Guild mean to you?

Starting The Butcher’s Guild is the dream of being able to support all the talented and committed butchers and meat pros. When I was writing Primal Cuts: Cooking With America’s Best Butchers, i learned so much about the struggles of others’. Even many of our most famous and inventive meat people are challenged to make money and stay afloat. I want this industry to be here in ten years! I hope The Butcher’s Guild will have a hand in distributing the collective wisdom and solutions so that we can all thrive.


Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:

The best cut is the one I am eating! I like to spread the love around. But when it comes to cooking at home, I love shoulders- beef chuck, pork butt and lamb shoulder. I am a braiser and relish the cuts that can stand up to the long heat.



Thanks, Marissa! Can’t wait to get Tia’s intro up as well!
It’s finally time for another Friday Feast! I’ve got a good one for tomorrow that would fit right into Marissa’s favorite cuts category.

Meet Kari Underly!

I am still working on a big in depth post about the Carolina Meat Conference and catching up with all the work that piled up while we were wielding knives in the wilds of North Carolina. As we continue to build up our charter membership, I am so excited to keep rolling out the impressive roster we are creating. Take a look at this seasoned meatcutter we are proud to count among our ranks!



Kari Underly
Chicago, IL
Range, Inc
www.rangepartners.com


How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with “sustainable” meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

I can honestly say that I was born into butchery. I was surrounded by butchers on both sides of my family. My love and appreciation for the craft started as a young girl at Underlyʼs Market, my fatherʼs small country butcher shop and ice cream parlor in Lydick, IN. Eventually, I would go through a three year in-house apprentice program at Martinʼs Super Market in South Bend, IN to become a journeyman meat cutter. I worked my way up the management ladder to become their first female Meat and Seafood Merchandiser. While working at Martinʼs, I went to school and earned a bachelorʼs degree in Business Administration. It wasnʼt long before I started my own company, Range, Inc. We specialize in helping companies in the perishables marketplace develop merchandising tools and new strategies to help grow business. I have always been dedicated to the sustainability of the craft. Much of my time and energy has been spent in the training and education of meat cutters and food service operators. I have an intimate knowledge of bovine anatomy, and each muscleʼs profile. This has proven invaluable in my quest to develop original and resourceful ways to utilize the animal by creating cut plans and generating undervalued cuts to bring profit to the entire channel.

What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

“Hype” insinuates an exaggeration of importance or benefits. The attention is real and well deserved. The renewed interest in butchery and the desire to know where your food comes from is not a trend. It is a movement. This shift back to the “closer to home” model is precipitated by the publicʼs demand for understanding the origin and nature of the meat they are eating. Consumers want to know where their meat comes from; they want to know that the animal was humanely raised and slaughtered. And they want to know how to cut it. Not only do food service operators and chefs want to know, consumers are also interested in learning the details of butchery. This makes me happy. I am thrilled to be involved in bringing back the appreciation for our craft and helping people develop their skills to sustain the art of butchery.

What do you believe is the role of butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

A sustainable meat industry has multiple facets. Yes, it involves limiting our impact on natural resources, and being cognizant about animal welfare matters and food safety, but it also incorporates the effect the industry has on employees and communities. I have a keen interest in the sustainability of the butcher and the customer who consumes the product. The well-being and safety of the employee, along with a good living wage is paramount in maintaining a sustainable meat industry. The shift from shipping sides of beef to shipping boxes of vacuum packed beef has transformed the labor practices in our industry. Employees (including butchers) have been forced into repetitive type jobs which require minimal skill or creativity. The steps between the knock and the finish can be dreary and tedious. Cross training of employees in processing plants and packing houses can go a long way in helping to foster a pride and understanding of the process. There is a renewed demand for the services of the skilled meat cutter. It is an honorable job and a dying craft. There is a shortage of the craftswo/man who is able to take a hanging carcass from the plant to portions for the plate. The key is training and education. The role of butchers (and chefs) is to learn to cut and maximize the entire carcass, and teach the consumer to appreciate cuts from the whole animal. There is an increased cost at every level to maintain a sustainable meat industry. My conversations with meat loving consumers around the country have convinced me that people are ready and willing to pay more for high quality, ethically raised and managed animals.

What does being a member of The Butcher’s Guild mean to you?

Honored. Excited. Challenged. This is an important time in our industry and change is happening quickly. There is a desire to support local, sustainable farms and a healthy food system. Professionals and consumers alike are hungry for knowledge and skills regarding whole animal butchery and meat cutting. I feel Iʼve been given an opportunity to help bring back the art of butchery and in turn, quality jobs to our communities. This is my passion. I look forward to working with my colleagues on such an important movement.

Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:

My favorite cut is the ribeye cap – not the outside blade cap, but the internal portion of the ribeye. Start by removing the blade. Follow the fat seam underneath the cartilage, trim away any heavy, unwanted fat, and remove the back-strap. At this point, you should see the fat cover of the spinalis dorsi (ribeye cap). I use my hands and feel for the seam between the longissimus dorsi (LD muscle) and the spinalis dorsi. (There is one more little gem of a muscle you will find here, it is the posterior end of the complexus. Itʼs shaped like a big chicken tenderloin. Experiment with this cut using dry heat cooking methods.) Use the pull and seam method to separate the muscles and remove the fat (use the fat to blend in to your hamburger). Finish by using your knife to completely separate the two muscles. I leave some fat on the external side, and remove the silver from the internal side.

Marinate with fresh, seasonal citrus (I like a lime and orange combination), fresh garlic, and a little pepper. Remember, this is the third most tender muscle in the carcass, so thereʼs no need to marinate for long, itʼs just for flavor. You can portion it out if you like, but I like to leave it whole and grill over wood coals. Sear over direct heat, and finish over indirect heat. Let rest for 10 minutes, slice thin on a wood carving board. Serve with fresh corn or flour tortillas, grilled jalapeno, fresh avocado, and tomatoes. Enjoy with a glass of your best tequila – neat. I call it “Tequila Solo”.

Meet Chris Cosentino!


Chris Cosentino
San Francisco, CA
Incanto & Boccalone Salumeria

www.offalgood.com
www.boccalone.com
www.incanto.biz


How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with “sustainable” meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

I have been working in restaurants since I was a kid. After I graduated from Johnson & Wales, I moved to D.C. to work for Mark Miller at the Red Sage. This was the first time I worked with whole animals; goat & venison from good sources. There was so much whole meat fabrication there. The restaurant had 2 full time butchers. What a great first job environment. After that I didn’t get to work with whole animals for a while, until I came to the Bay Area. When I got to Incanto that was one of the first things I started to do. 8 years later I am still doing it. We are serving more offal then ever and the demand from the customers is growing.

What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

The more the better! It is an education for the public to hear and see this, which will have a trickle effect. It will be just like the sushi movement, first no one understood it, now it’s all over and the norm.

What do you believe is the role of butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

We need to correct a broken system that was created mainly by the industrialization of meat production. Now Americans expect cheap food, but they don’t understand that you get what you pay for. We have to break the cycle. Butchers can help through education and a commitment to honoring the whole animal.

What does being a member of The Butcher’s Guild mean to you?

I am honored to be among such a group of talent and forward thinking chefs & butchers. We are helping bring back a time honored trade and tradition. I feel that this is an opportunity for a group of like-minded meat loving chefs & butchers a platform to work from. This gives us all an ability to share issues, and important information.

Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:

Choosing a favorite cut of meat is like choosing a favorite child it’s just not right. I like skeletal meat cooked on the bone-they have more flavor. In regards to offal cuts, it’s all about what I am in the mood for.



Venison Kidneys with Spicy Lentils & Mint

Serves 4

4 Venison Kidneys
½ cup all purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 cup green lentils
4 cups chicken stock
1 whole carrot
1 whole onion
1 whole head garlic, split
1 bunch thyme
1 bay leaf
1 bunch parsley stems
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup picked mint
½ cup slivered garlic
1 Fresno chili or a jalapeño
½ cup lemon juice



Remove the membrane from the outside of the kidney. Split the kidney in half and remove and discard the fibrous membrane from each side. While cleaning the kidneys, rinse the lentils in cold water, then place in a non-reactive pot and cover with water, bring to a boil. Once they have come to a boil, strain and rinse again with cold water. Place the lentils again in a non-reactive pot with the whole onion, carrot, split garlic head and tied herb bundle then cover with the chicken stock. Cook the lentils slowly until they are tender, once tender remove the vegetables and cook in their cooking liquid.

Dry the kidneys, season with salt and pepper; lightly dust with seasoned flour. Heat butter in a pan. Crack a garlic clove and add a thyme branch; sizzle for a minute, then add the kidneys. Sear until golden brown, and then flip over, cook until medium rare. While the kidney is cooking, in another pan heat olive oil and sizzle the slivered garlic, chili flakes then add the lentils and toss gently to incorporate. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, toss in the torn mint.

Place the spicy lentil and mint of each of the four warm plates, lay two halves of kidney on top of the lentils, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve immediately.


Thanks Chris!! Tia, Marissa and I are here in North Carolina setting up for the Carolina Meat Conference. As a perk, we’ve all been offered a few laps around the Charlotte Motor Speedway!! So, we’re off to the track! Catch you tomorrow for another Friday Feast!




Meet Brad Farmerie!

 


Brad Farmerie
Executive chef, Public and Double Crown, NYC


How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with “sustainable” meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

I have been a cook/chef for about 16 years + or -, but didn’t really get into butchering whole animals and larger cuts until about 10 years ago. Up until that time, most of the restaurants that I worked in used prefabricated portions, but at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons , Chef Raymond Blanc had a vision that included vegetables grown right on the property and whole animals (for everything except beef and veal) from local farms that raised animals specifically for Le Manoir. It was a serious change of operation watching the sous chefs leaving vegetable requests with the folks in charge of the garden and calling farms directly to get the meat order. It dealt with building relationships with people that you know are working just as hard as you are to produce amazing items, and supporting those people to make sure that those animals are looked after from paddock to plate.

Later on I went back to work with the iconic New Zealand chef Peter Gordon. The sheer size of the kitchen at his restaurant (or lack thereof) didn’t allow for whole animals but definitely taught me respect for the more unusual cuts and offal. His philosophy and support of farms across the UK, along with farms (and the personalities) in Australia and New Zealand gave me a better insight into trying to work with great people doing great things with food instead of painting yourself into a corner of hard core “local” product. Many of the operations I work with may not be local, but they have a small scale and sustainable outlook that is amazing and should be supported.

What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

It means I can finally give up the hard hours and retire, right?

It’s definitely a good thing, and anyone that says otherwise is a loca enchilada. There is a chance to change the slippery slope of American nepotism towards the shrink wrapped boneless, skinless, and flavorless flesh. The media almost has to be a part of it to make it work.

What do you believe is the role of butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

I think the ideal role of a butcher in a sustainable movement is to be able to desensitize their customers to the cut of an animal on offer and to celebrate the flesh itself. The insight that a meat professional can offer on guidance to meat selection and cooking technique is invaluable. This would use a seriously suggestive sell (with tons of advice) on how to use the cut.

The biggest impediment is preconceived notions, personal history, lack of information, and anything else that keeps folks from buying the whole beast.

What does being a member of The Butcher’s Guild mean to you?

Hopefully it means that many of the decisions I made way back when were good ones. Its an honor to be amongst the best in the business and I’m just looking forward to helping in any way possible.

Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:

That’s like asking me to pick my favorite family member! There are too many great choices, each with their own cool and quirky reason for being chosen. I’ll narrow it just a little, but don’t tell anyone I’m playing favorites…

Deboned pork neck “steak”-simply lubed up with EVO and seasoned with Maldon salt and a quick grind of pepper- thrown on the grill till medium, rested, and passed across the line while we are in the middle of a busy service at the restaurant. It helps to make the whole night look a whole lot better. No shit- I am literally eating a super delicious one (post service) as I type this. I always hear folks recommending to cook this bit of deliciousness in a braise or slow and long roast, but I think that just squeezes the personality right out of it.

Wagyu tongue- I’m a huge fan of this. It takes all of the (ridiculously slim) willpower that I have to resist the temptation of sampling the goodness while prepping it between the poach and grill phase – some of those succulent back slices may never make it. We usually cook this one in a slow poach (super aromatic and acidic broth) till tender, peeled, portioned, and grilled.


Thanks to Brad Farmerie! Have a great weekend, and if you are in NYC, head to Public for Brunch!

 

Meet Matt Jennings!


Matt Jennings

Chef/Owner Farmstead & La Laiterie at Farmstead

Providence, RI


How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with sustainable meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?


I’ve been butchering since I was 16, as a prep and line cook. Everyday has brought new challenges, and I continue my “education” in butchery by way of self-teaching and seeking out talented Chefs and Butchers to work with. In 2000, while visiting Italy, I was able to work with Dario Cecchini in Chianti for just a couple of days- this was when I was ‘bitten by the bug’. Picking rosemary and lavender and being enveloped by the love for craft that Dario brings to the table, was a life changing experience and it was then that I realized how much I respected the craft. Since then, I have been completely self-taught, reading a lot and working even more to perfect the skill of proper butchery. In my restaurant, I source 100% naturally raised meats, and we are a ‘whole animal’ restaurant- so everything gets broken down on site. Now, I have the ability to teach my cooks- bringing the next generation into the story. So many culinary students and young cooks these days are taught that meat comes in pretty shapes, cryovaced in plastic and all they have to do is open a package and throw it on the grill. We all know this is not the case, so being able to instill knowledge and passion into a younger generation of cooks is paramount for me.

What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

Meat is hot right now. I think it is a good thing. It’s good for restaurants like mine- showcasing house butchery is important and displays a level of dedication and commitment that few places have. The ‘butchery trend’ is great for consumers as well- it’s about time we ‘took back our food’ and actually learned the old ways and the heritage behind where our food comes from and how it is prepared. Knowing your food on this intimate level, ensures you care more about what you put into your body and ultimately, allows the consumer to ‘vote with their fork’- educating each other and pushing for more knowledge and information from their meat purveyors. I’ve won the Northeast Regional Cochon 555 the past three years in a row, and I can tell you from experience that this movement is not slowing down. People are hungry for more (pun not intended), and that means they want more knowledge of where their food comes from, who is preparing it and how they can cook some of the lesser known cuts at home.

What do you believe is the role of butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

Expense. Good (humanely and responsibly raised and slaughtered) meat is more expensive. People need to understand this. Consumers need to be ready to pay a premium for the skill set a great butcher brings to the table, coupled with the high caliber of product that responsible shops and restaurants can provide. On my end, distribution is a huge issue. I think the Chef who is involved with a higher end butchery model, needs to be flexible and has to be able to adapt to the market- learn how to utilize the ‘lesser known’ cuts, how to cook head to tail- waste not, want not! Work with your distributors- tell them what you want and what you are looking for. It will take strong voices and a determined professionals to keep moving the needle forward. I’m honored to be one of these people.

What does being a member of The Butcher’s Guild mean to you?

Everything. I’m honored and thrilled to have been chosen to represent such an integral part of our industry. Change is in the air. It is an exciting time to be a Chef. We are all learning together- the learning curve with proper butchery is huge, and BG creates a very important and necessary forum for like minded professionals to be able to reach out to each other, share ideas, concerns, thoughts, values and vision. Proper butchery is one of the things that I pride myself on, and I think something that makes my restaurant and businesses stand out. We need to continue to promote this skill, honor the craft and all those who came before us, and most importantly, empower and teach the next generation of butcher. Passing the torch is the ultimate goal. We cannot let this art die. We will not.

Tell us your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe!

Wow. That’s a tough one. There are so many. Right now I’m obsessed with tongue. Smoked. Pickled. Braised. Fried. I can’t get enough. Likewise for any type of offal and organ meat. We have an extensive in-house charcuterie program at La Laiterie, and I pride myself on my attention to detail and commitment to classical charcuterie technique. I’ve been considered as one of the original ‘offal experts’ of this new generation- bringing up the rear of a speeding train that includes my personal heroes and friends like those who are included in the BG- Chris Cosentino, for example, is a friend and someone I look up to as a leader. Ditto for Chefs like Jamie Bissonette and April Bloomfield. We all love those naughty bits that require more in depth thought on their utilization, the numerous techniques required to treat offal with care, and make it sing on a plate. Long live livers and lungs!


Thanks, Matt, for another great introduction to the shining faces of The Butcher’s Guild!

I’ve got a really special combo BG charter member introduction/Friday Feast planned for this week! We’re also gearing up for the Carolina Meat Conference, so expect to hear much more about that as the week goes on. Happy Monday!


Last Day to Register for NC Choices Carolina Meat Conference

Registration for NC Choices Carolina Meat Conference closes TONIGHT at midnight!

Click on the title to this post to be directed to the online registration form and check out the promo video in the sidebar! We are all looking forward to this conference, it’s been a long time coming and will be a great opportunity for exchange of information, research, techniques and movement building. Take a look below for the various classes and other events that the guild is leading.

Fri, March 25th 2-5 pm & Sat, March 26th 9am-12pm

Butchery Craft in Your Home Kitchen
Whole lamb, pig and chicken carcass breakdown with every participant taking home $100 worth of local, pasture-raised meat, a boning knife and Butcher’s Guild tote bag.
with:

Tia Harrison, Co-Founder-The Butcher’s Guild, Owner-Avedano’s Meat Market and Executive Chef-Sociale, San Francisco, CA
Marissa Guggiana, Co-Founder-The Butcher’s Guild, President of Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats and Author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers
Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher, Portland, OR
Craig Deihl, Executive Chef- Cypress, Charleston, SC
*advanced registration is required; see registration package.

Sat March 26th 3:30-5pm
Facing Ethical Issues in a Growing Market: The Importance of Transparency in Sourcing & Production
A panel discusses the importance of consistent and accurate messaging to consumers regarding product sourcing and production methods.
with:

Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International
Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher
Ben Bergman, Fickle Creek Farm
V.Mac Baldwin, Baldwin Charolais Beef
Moderator: Casey McKissick, Coordinator, NC Choices

Sat March 26th 8-11pm
Butcher’s Guild Mixer at the Speedway Club


Sun March 27th
Artisanal Butchery and Whole Animal Utilization for Professional Chefs
A meat cutting class geared toward those in the industry, chefs will glean new methods for utilizing whole animals.
with:

Tia Harrison, Co-Founder-The Butcher’s Guild, Owner-Avedano’s Meat Market and Executive Chef-Sociale, San Francisco, CA
Marissa Guggiana, Co-Founder-The Butcher’s Guild, President of Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats and Author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers
Craig Deihl, Executive Chef- Cypress, Charleston, SC

Meet Mark DeNittis!

Today is the first of many introductions to the faces behind the Butcher’s Guild. In the coming weeks, all of the charter members will be featured in similar posts. Get to know us!



Mark Matthew Michael DeNittis

Denver, CO
Il Mondo Vecchio – Salumi Founder/President
Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat: Foundations in Meat Fabrication Founder/President


How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start?

Although I grew up around making wine and sausage it was nothing remotely professional, it was simply familial gatherings in the basement. My professional background emanates from predominately a classically trained culinarian turned educator turned USDA plant owner/operator. The butchery came from a sense of meeting budgetary goals as a culinary professional within industry as well professing it as an educator. The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach had three in house Butchers/Butcher department that fabricated 90% of all the hotels protein needs. However, I did not work in that department, simply being exposed to it laid a basic foundation and mindset for me that lasted throughout my career.

As I progressed within hotel/resorts, private clubs and even a guest ranch I fabricated as much in house as feasibly possible, the result in part contributed to a low food cost. Formerly though as a “butcher”, I took on the Meatcutting Curriculum in 2003 at Johnson and Wales University Denver. Having being been put in charge as the chair person of the Meat Cutting Curriculum for all four campuses one of my roles was working directly with my colleagues (fellow meat cutting instructors) to ensure what we were practicing/preaching in the classroom was relevant to industry’s expectations of a culinary student. From 2005 – 2009 I was the Chef Educational Consultant for the American Lamb Board authoring numerous educational materials, DVD’s, publications as well facilitating seminars on both basic fabrication and cooking skills. Lastly, I was the NAMP Meat Buyers Guide 6th Edition Revision Lamb Section Committee Chairperson.

Have you been working with “sustainable” meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

Sustainable…depending on how you look at it can mean as well be answered in a variety of ways. At its core though I feel sensible and practical both need to be considered when thinking sustainable. Sustainable must not only apply to the sourcing but as well have practicality within a business model. Over the years as a chef in the 90’s it wasn’t quite practical nor readily available. As I shifted from industry into education (2000) and in 2003 aligned with the meatcutting class I began to reach out to local producers. I was able to connect the university with several local small micro-ranches as well to be able to introduce and provide locally sourced half carcass and whole animals for the minimum 15 meatcutting classes we ran each year. It turned out to be a very sustainable, sensible and practical practice. Ultimately I was able to replicate what the butcher dept did at the Breakers Hotel. The meatcutting class, although not the primary goal, fulfilled the needs of 95% of all the cold and hot food production class needs. When a meatcutting class did not run, the university had to purchase from outside sources. To conclude, it was an outwardly sustainable practice that was sensible and practical creating a sustainable practice internally.

Having been in education and exposing well over 2300 students just at JWU alone to that from 2003 – 2010 and even now with the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat recreational and professional programs since 2010. Within our own business model at Il Mondo Vecchio, we are extremely mindful of being as sustainable in our practices as possible. With the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat and its host site, Cook St. School of Culinary arts and the new State Certificate and American Culinary Federation Continuing Education Accredited Butchery program, we will collaboratively continue on with that mindset.


I feel confident that our mindful choices continue to be what we as butchers/business owners/chefs contribute to the incremental shifts of sustainability in our professional and personal daily practices.


What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?


That is simple, to sum it up as we said growing up back east: “Whicked Awesome”!


What do you believe is the role butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?


I’d mirror my last statement about sustainability and as far as impediment….we are only bound by what we choose NOT to do. The choices we make… as well how we deliver and educate ourselves and our consumers is the only thing I see as being an impediment. In the bigger picture it won’t happen overnight but each day, week, month and year we work towards an improvement and a mindset or paradigm shift. The biggest concern and impediment I see and would address is the term “sustainable” itself becoming just another diluted marketing buzz word and instead of a true practice.

What does being a member of Butcher’s Guild mean to you?

It is was great growing up in the culinary industry having been a skilled craftsman/tradesman. More recently having continued my professional growth in working towards being an industry leader and expert within the meat industry, I am honored and excited about being a member, especially a charter member of the begining of an organization as such.

Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:

I’m going to cheat and give two….1. I was a Beef Ribeye guy for years and in 2001 shifted to the Flat Iron 1114D Top Blade Steak and 2. sharing Rack or Rib Chops (a bone in ribeye) of American Lamb with my daughter.

As far as recipe…
Season with Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper and Granulated Garlic, grill to mark mooing or baaaahing rare.


 

Thanks to Mark DeNittis for his insightful response! The charter members of Butcher’s Guild reads like a who’s who of the meat world, many more introductions are yet to come.

Look forward to tomorrow’s Friday Feast post!

 

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