As former executive chef at San
Francisco’s Fifth Floor, Farr made
chicharrÓns from the extra skin left from
using whole pigs at the restaurant. After
leaving Fifth Floor, he began making
handmade sausages and hot dogs, which
he sells at his popular 4505 Meats in San
Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace
and by mail order. He recently started a
meat CSA, varying each month’s selection
based on what animal is in-house. “We
have a central kitchen we work out of,
which is where we do our fabrication
and preparation. We’ve been selling to
restaurants for a while, but with this CSA,
we are now able to complete the circle of
complete meat utilization,” he says.
Until recently, butchery was in many ways
a solo enterprise for chefs. This year, Brady
Lowe, whose Cochon 555 promoted
porcine breed diversity and whole-animal
utilization to cities throughout the nation,
began Protein University, an online resource
and video library created by a network of
Alex Dreyer prepares tartare at
chefs and butchers that also produces
Primal, a national event celebrating chefs,
butchers, fire cooking and responsible
farms. The Protein University website (www.
proteinu.com) features chefs showcasing
fabrication skills, including Mark Dommen of
San Francisco’s One Market demonstrating
whole-goat fabrication and Adam
Sappington of The Country Cat, Portland,
Ore., in a beef-butchering video.
According to Lowe, if using whole animals
is to be considered sustainable, it must
include the entire process. “Most important
to me is paying the people who work hard in
slaughterhouses a good wage, while holding
processors to higher standards,” he says.
A TRUE BUTCHER
In August, Tia Harrison and Marissa
Guggiana founded the U.S. Butchers Guild
( usbutchersguild.com), whose oath is: A
true butcher has a good heart, source,
hand and voice.
Harrison is co-owner of Avedano’s, a full-service butcher in San Francisco, and
chef/owner of Sociale, San Francisco.
Guggiana operates Sonoma Direct, a
meat-processing plant that works with
local ranches and growers providing meat
to area restaurants, and is the author of
Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best
Butchers (Welcome Books, 2010).
“We want to create resources and a
network for the increasing number of
chefs who are working with whole animals
and butchers who are operating locally,”
says Harrison. “We will have lists of
slaughterhouses, local farms and farms
that ship. Members can promote their
events. Our goal is ultimately to support
local and sustainable farms, and we want
to help those people who are doing that.”
Jan Greenberg, author of Hudson Valley
Harvest (Countryman Press, 2003), is
based in Rhinebeck, N. Y.
Jim Eklund, operator of the Glynwood
Modular Harvest System (MHS), with cattle
in the holding pen. Currently stationed in
Stamford, N. Y., the MHS is the first mobile
slaughterhouse of its kind.