In 1926, S. Wallace Edwards, the young captain of the Jamestown-Surry ferry began selling ham sandwiches to his passengers. The ham had been cured by him as on the family farm according to those time tested methods.
Soon demand became great enough that S. Wallace Edwards began curing hams on a full time basis, distributing them to country stores and fine hotels, and shipping them throughout the country and overseas.
S. Wallace Edwards & Sons remains a family operation in Surry County not far from Jamestown where Native Americans taught the settlers to cure meat. Today’s facilities simulate the seasons without sacrificing the care and attention that result in that unique flavor of Virginia hams.
In the time-honored style of the Native Americans, settlers and farmers before them, S. Wallace Edwards & Sons processes each ham by hand as it goes through the stages of curing.
The very finest hams are selected and hand-rubbed with salt. They remain in the curing room under controlled temperature until the desired amount of salt has been absorbed. Excess salt is removed by washing and the hams are then pepper-coated and ready for hanging in the smokehouse.
Many days of cool “hickory” smoked are required to give these hams their rich mahogany color. They are then allowed to hang undisturbed for “aging” until they develop that real Virginia flavor.
Uncooked hams are ready to ship at this point others may go through a cooking process in the ham kitchen. These are submerged in water and slowly simmered until they are fully cooked and ready to be served.
David Zier, Zier’s Prime Meats and Poultry
Dave has been a butcher for over 30 years, honing his craft under the tutelage of his Father, a retired USDA Federal Meat Inspector turned small town locker plant operator. He and his wife Denise own and operate Zier’s Prime Meats and Poultry in Wilmette, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago,which they reopened in 1985. Dave and his crew routinely butcher whole lambs and large primal cuts of cattle as well as whole hog butchery.Unfortunately Wilmette does not allow slaughter of animals in town, but Dave can occasionally be found in the north woods foraging for his own personal venison and game birds in the fall months before the holidays. Dave can be seen throughout the year on various local Chicago news channels extolling various “new” cuts of beef like the flatiron and teres major
(thank you Kari Underly!)
Analiesa Gosnell, Clove and Hoof
Analiesa has been involved with agriculture from an early age. Beginning with 4-H at age 9, she raised and showed meat animals in the California Bay Area until she graduated high school and continued her education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she obtained a B.S. in Agricultural Business with concentrations in Marketing and Hospitality. After working in corporate America for 6 years, she left and found herself opening a Tahoe based pop-up restaurant with a few friends. Working in the kitchen drew her once again to learning about agriculture – specifically meats – from how animals are raised, slaughtered, butchered, and cooked, and the economic and ecologic impact we are currently experiencing with the slow and sustainable meat movement.She is now co-owner of Clove & Hoof Restaurant and Butchery in Oakland, CA opening Autumn 2014.
Vincent Delagrange, Urban Farmer Cleveland
Vincent Delagrange has a passion for preserving the art of traditional butchery. He was on the opening team of the Solon Market District grocery store near Cleveland, Ohio and currently leads his department in the development of handmade sausage recipes. Vincent is also responsible for the creation of specialty items and is often called upon for challenging custom orders. He is driven to pursue education in old-school butchering methods and is always looking for opportunities to learn new techniques. Vincent values a farm-to-table, snout-to-tail philosophy and has indoctrinated his children with an undying reverence for the pig. He loves educating consumers about the physiology of where their meat comes from and how it’s best prepared.
Mark Demarco, Cedric’s Tavern on The Biltmore Estate A 1999 Graduate of the IUP academy of culinary arts, Mark is currently the executive chef of Cedric’s Tavern on Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC. Working at Biltmore Estate, Mark has access to estate raised beef and lamb that is featured prominently in the many restaurants on Biltmore throughout the year. In 2011, Cedric’s began to feature a charcuterie board, utilizing the estates beef and lamb, as well as locally sourced pork, chicken and mountain trout, keeping with the “field to table” tradition Biltmore Estate is known for.
Matthew Besser, Revival Bar & Kitchen
Monument Lane is a West Village tavern serving seasonal American food featuring ingredients from regional farmers and growers who promote sustainable practices. The menu changes weekly, reflecting the restaurant’s commitment to showcasing the local harvest.
Jon Emanuel, Project Angel Heart
Jon Emanuel is the Executive Chef at Project Angel Heart in Denver, Colorado; a non-profit providing free, nutritious meals to those living with life-threatening illnesses. He is also a chef instructor at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, as well as the founder of the Denver Adventurous Eaters Club. Jon’s interest in butchery started while working in challenging environments– including Executive Chef stints in remote Alaska and South Pole Station, Antarctica—where whole animal or primal fabrication was a necessary skill. Over the years Jon has acquired a deeper knowledge and appreciation of charcuterie, sustainable meat practices and whole-beast cuisine; and tries whenever possible to include these skills in his current work. Jon is also a graduate of the very first session of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat’s Butchery Certification Program.
Tony Incontro, Del Dotto Winery
Tony is the Salumist and Sous Chef at Del Dotto Winery, a family-owned winery which focuses on small production, premium wines. He has worked in many other indisputably fine establishments, including Perbacco & Barbacco, Martini House and Omaha Country Club.Tony’s love affair with salumi started at age 8 when he would help his nonno from Calabria break pork and make salame in the garage during the winter. He is a “chef gone curer/salumist.” Primarily using Mangalitsa hogs and helping to preserve and promote this noble breed has become a vital “ingredient” in his work. Keep an eye out for Incontro Salumi in the bay area!
Chris Fuller, a.k.a Meat Chris, Fuller Consulting, LLC
Chris brings a unique ability to connect farmers and producers with consumers and the restaurant industry. He holds an AA from Johnson and Wales U. in Culinary Arts and a BS in Anthropology from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. His first involvement in meat processing began by working his way up to become Plant Manager at Sunnyside Meats in Durango, CO. In January of 2012, Chris successfully completed designing, opening and operating a federally inspected plant, Alleghany Meats, in Highland County, VA. He enjoyed the challenge of directing the final touches on the building, and then filling it with equipment, employees, HACCP plans, and finally meat. Now, Chris keeps his hands full running Fuller Consulting, LLC, a Los Angeles based firm that works with clients on everything from plant design, to mobile units, to retail shops, to HACCP plans. In addition to his consulting work, Chris is also the Center of the Plate Specialist for US Foods in Carona, CA.