I hadn't realized how long it has been since I've posted. Here's where I've been over the past oh, 2 years or so. It is all about my travels as well as reflections on my experiences, the kids are calling it a food memoir and it comes out in just a few weeks on Soft Skull. It'll be in stores all over N America and is already available on Amazon and other sites for pre-sales. This next sentence deserves the caps yelling I'm about to employ. PLEASE, IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND REAL, AND FOR ALL THE LITTLE BABIES AND OLD LADIES AND FLOWERS AND TREES AND PRETTY ANIMALS IN THE WORLD: 


I don't care if that upsets distributors or slows down sales, it makes my skin crawl to even think of a penny being made by those companies on MY work. Conversely, I encourage anyone interested in buying a copy to do so through INDEPENDENT book stores. Please ask your local library to carry it too! New books aren't in everyone's budget. It will also be out on Audible for those inclined to hearing yours truly narrate this food memoir. 

As long as I've been writing this book, I've long been working on other food-related projects that aren't meat-focused and just haven't the time to keep up with several forms of social media. As I close the family of Ethical Butcher projects with this upcoming book release, this is my last post on this blog. I will leave it up as an archive, but will no longer update. For up-to-date info, please follow me at  http://chefberlinreed.tumblr.com/, where I am cultivating a much more holistically representative site that allows me to post all kinds of food related media. I am preparing for a short & sweet book tour that will hit Seattle, Portland, SF, LA, NYC and Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal between mid-April and late-May. I am also planning to finally do a decent Southern tour starting in NOLA in late June!!! Def hit up my new site for dates soon!

It has now been just over 4 years since I started this blog, and it took me places I could have never dreamed of. It's a new world, a new era. So friends, old and new, if you have found yourself at this page looking to meet me or find out what I'm up to, hop over to the new site (link above). 
My book will fill you in on the rest. 

Thanks for reading The Ethical Butcher, 

Berlin Reed


The Road to Heaven...

As has been the case for the last many moons, I'm pleasantly buried in projects these days. The 718 Collective is off to an amazingly busy start with 7 events over the next 5 weeks. We are most exciting to get this recurring event off the ground. This is the idea that got the 718 ball rolling!

Every first Sunday, 718 Collective will present a brunch of market-fresh produce & local pasture-raised meats transformed into a new menu that is soy-free, with vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options. Showing attention to detail, traditional methods are honored with everything from house-cured bacon to homemade pickles. We envision this becoming an all-day affair that includes musical performance and post-brunch dancing, occasional speakers and guest chefs- the perfect Sunday destination.

Join us for our very first Sunday Brunch on April 1st, from 1-5pm at The Egg & Dart Club!
Only *14 bux* for a Mile High Biscuit, side salad and bottomless Counter Culture Coffee!! 

Plus, a cash Bloody Mary bar!

What's a Mile High Biscuit? 

Your choice of 4 Biscuit Bases stacked up high with your choice of toppins’, pilins’ and fixins’!!

Homestyle, Herb, Bacon-Green Garlic or Gluten-free Sweet Potato Biscuit 
topped with choice of:

veggie scramble
handcured Maple Jerk Bacon
slow-cooked pulled drunken chicken
spicy lentil/rice patties
caramelized onions
braised greens
winter root hash
mixed greens
pickled red onions
local cheeses
homemade apple butter
roasted pears
veggie gravy
sage sausage gravy
black pepper balsamic glaze

and of course, homemade hot sauces!!

The Egg & Dart Club
15 Vanderbilt Ave. BKYLN, NY

****14 bux PRESALE ONLY****
Limited space, so get your tix early! Our last event sold out!
Contact: Sunday.seveneighteen@gmail.com or theethicalbutcher@gmail.com for info!


The NYC Farm & Table Project

Think you can’t afford to eat local foods, or doubt the culinary superiority of fresh food from local farms? After a successful run last spring, the NYC Farm & Table Project returns to bring the bounty of every season to your table in a way that is inviting, fun, and just plain delicious!

We all deserve to revel in good food on more than just a few special occasions, 
at these intimate meals EVERYONE eats well because 
local foods are here for all of us to enjoy!  
Skip the restaurant and have a luxurious meal
with friends at home without any of the work!  
With packages to fit any budget,  you can afford a private chef!
Just open your home and kitchen to the  NYC Farm & Table Project!!

Schedule your feast today!  
Dates available from February 24-March 11 &  March 28-April 22!! 
Accessible rates begin at just $125* for 3-course dinner for 4 guests!!
The best value you’ll find anywhere in NYC 
for expertly prepared private meals using locally sourced seasonal ingredients!  

*Dinner price includes private menu consultation, ingredient sourcing, 
set-up, preparation, kitchen clean up and table service.
All menus are SOY-FREE. Vegan/Veg/Raw/Gluten-free requests welcome!
Scroll through the blog for past menus and mouthwatering photos!
For more detailed rate information, or to schedule consultation and dinner,  
contact theethicalbutcher@gmail.com or ring 347.409.2504


Where Mr. James McWilliams Got it Wrong

This letter is in response to an article in the Atlantic written by James McWilliams, associate professor of history at Texas State University, San Marcos and author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly.

Mr. McWilliams, we’ve never met. We’ve never spoken to one another. I only wish you had sought to remedy that situation before writing a treatise on meat consumption using me as an example. I was flabbergasted by the inaccuracies in your article in the Atlantic,but your biggest mistake in writing “What Big Ag and the Ethical Butcher Share” was deciding to build your stance against me based on little more than two lines from my blog bio. I’ve been hanging under the radar, head down on a few new projects and preparing to write my first book, which you have gracefully gifted me an opportunity to mention. Why not attempt to stand on the fortitude of your ideas alone? Or, at the very least interview me so that you could write about me from a more informed perspective. With minimal effort, you could have found a more recent portrayal of my ethos at work,in this interview, which was released the same day as yours, by a writer who did the legwork you blithely bypassed in your fervor to assert your self-righteousness while disproving my methodology.

I pity the limited scope with which you seem to view the world. To begin, your article was a disrespectful disgrace to this nation’s farmers and to the many people working tirelessly to change the meat industry. I would have explained the meaning of “The Ethical Butcher”, had you called me for even a short interview. Since you didn’t, I’ll have to take a step back to explain. First, “The Ethical Butcher” is the title of my project, not a self-assigned moniker. Second, butchery is a craft, a skill. Ethics are philosophy in action. Butchery is what occurs at the block, knives in hand. It is still butchery whether I get the animal from a sunny green pasture or a dismal feedlot. Nothing I can do will make the physical act of butchering itself more or less ethical. The ethics come in on either side of the block. The ethics guide how to choose the animal, how to make use of it and how to relate to consumers in representing the meat, farms and farmers. Not so absurd, after all.

In my opinion, the single most critical element in the perpetuation of factory farming is corporate greed. We must focus on the whole picture: our entire food system. This includes the USDA, the FDA, and in this conversation, the entire agricultural system- livestock, corn, soy, wheat, monocrops, GMO’s, the whole nine. The outdated obsession with meat as the crux of the problem is unnecessarily narrow-minded and closes us off to the advantage of seeing the complex web we are struggling to free ourselves from.

I have never, ever argued against being vegetarian or vegan. I argue against shaming and demonizing something so monumentally personal as food choice. I argue against dogma, against the moral superiority complex that plagues so many herbivores, and against the unrealistic and elitist goal of worldwide vegan fascism. The world is waiting for a better solution. Going vegan doesn’t answer the bigger issues of a fossil-fuel propelled world economy based on the abuse of humans, the destruction of the environment and the unchecked rapacity of a few hundred people. Going vegan doesn’t stop Monsanto from poisoning the earth and our bodies or threatening the very choice to grow food for ourselves. Going vegan doesn’t improve the labor camp living conditions of migrant workers who supply your precious veggies. Going vegan doesn’t preserve generations of time-honored traditions and it doesn’t help us return to a more sustainable and enriching way of interacting with the earth. Most of all, going vegan does not absolve you from participation in the suffering of living beings or environmental destruction.

It is not the eating of animals at issue; that is a reactionary and short-sighted distraction. The issue is the system through which most of the animals we eat are supplied. As this system is tied to a larger system of irresponsible and abusive agriculture, it is absolutely necessary that we seek a solution to the entire problem. I have always said, in every interview and in my own work, that curbing meat consumption goes hand-in-hand with humane treatment of animals and responsible farming methods. I don’t eat very much meat and one look at my latest menu(http://ethicalbutcher.blogspot.com/ ) will dispel your claims that I encourage wanton meat consumption. It will show menus that teem with fresh, seasonal vegetables in all preparations. The photos will display plates with reasonable, some may even say small, portions of meat.

I can actually still count the number of animals I’ve served over the past two years, a feat only possible because of the infrequency and purposeful nature with which I approach the use of meat. I abstain from soy at all costs and I don’t eat any seafood other than shellfish and a very, very short list of truly sustainable fish. As for the CCF connection, the fact that a website lists my blog as recommended reading does not align my philosophy with theirs. Welcome to the 21st century, we call it a blogroll. That list includes many publications dedicated to the subject of meat, animals and farming. Just as you wrote about me without contacting me, those sites are free to do the same. I am in no way connected to CCF, Humanewatch, Meatpaper or any other organization outside of The Butcher’s Guild.

For a long time now, my focus has been on consumer education and demystifying the green-washed marketing that both the government and food industry use to their advantage. The most effective tool for fighting this tactic is information. I will never assume to know what others should do; I find that to be a dangerous mindset. I can only share knowledge and remind people that they can make their own decisions. I rarely get into the ethics behind the actual choice of whether or not to eat meat, and I won’t be baited do it here either. I am in full support of everyone having the ability to make the very personal decision of what to feed themselves and their families. I am not interested in persuading people eat meat or abstain from it. I am interested in where ALL of their food, but especially their meat, comes from. I am invested in helping people to understand how these companies misrepresent their practices and in challenging consumers to make their own choices.

Our responsibility to be vigilantly engaged with the dismantling of the status quo doesn’t end with what is on our plates. We must all continue to vote with our forks, with our legs, with our wardrobes and with the power of our words. Every single day, we make choices about the world we want to live in. I will continue to fight for a world where I can trust where my food comes from and encourage others to do the same. As I funnel the momentum of the EB projects into my book, I am likewise finding a new outlet for an expanded vision of my practice. I have just co-founded 718 Collective, a band of fellow activist chefs, musicians and artists hell-bent on food justice for all. I am thrilled at the potential we have for reaching even more people in the community through the meshing of food, art, politics, music and fashion.

I am fairly certain many of your readers had never heard of me before you named me in your article. Thanks for the mention and this fortuitous occasion to shift from underground grassroots activism to representing a movement on the national stage. It was no coincidence that your article should come out the very day the contract for my upcoming book from Soft Skull Press,The Ethical Butcher: Real Food Rules, arrived on my doorstep. Such a tasty little platter of publicity…I could not have dreamed of a better way to announce the Spring 2013 hardcover release of my book.

Now that we’ve cleared up a few of your misrepresentations, I invite you to prepare your notes, and come at me again.



This move back to Brooklyn has kept me BUSY! I've been putting eggs in all kinds of baskets, but the one I'm most excited about is my new collective, 718.

718 is a new Brooklyn-based band of chefs, artists, musicians, activists and healers with a vision that includes community meals, classes & internships, urban agriculture and food justice for all. We've got some big plans in the works, an urban permaculture/agriculture project that will grow food for our events, herbs for infusions and medicinal use, chickens and ducks for eggs, and eventually even a rooftop apiary! We're also developing summer classes and internship opportunities while also curating nightlife events, brunches and of course, community feasts!! Whew! And it all starts with this event! 718 Love Feast is four courses of local goodness, DJ Nolita Selector and secret musical guest all for $40/person or $70/pair! That's amore!

Many of you have supported The Ethical Butcher project for some time now and I hope to start seeing you at 718 events! The unique experiences I gained over the course of those projects will now be funneled into a memoir, set for a hardcover release early next year by Counterpoint Press. As I transition away from nomadic solo renegade chef/butcher toward a sustainable stationary existence in my favorite food-loving city, I am exhilarated to share this project with a couple of like-minded chefs who just want to feed you just food!

Below,you'll find info about our first event, including the menu and reservation details. 718 celebrates all love, not just the romantic variety! So, bring mom, dad, roommates, best friends or treat yourself! This night is for everyone!

Check the drool-worthy menu and join us for 718 Love Feast on February 14th!

NOTE: Entire menu is SOY-FREE with many vegan/veg, raw and gluten-free items. In fact, it's sort of a vegan meal with meat options! The best meat option being two flavors of my famous hand-cured bacon, naturally!

718 sources local, seasonal ingredients, so this menu is only going to get more exciting when we hit the market!

718 Love Feast
with DJ Nolita Selector + secret guest

Winter Vegetable Slaw
Pan-seared Brussels Sprouts
Caramelized Carrot & Coconut Milk Panna Cotta w/ Sriracha-glazed popcorn
*all dishes vegan, gluten-free

Dressed Stew & Soup
Two options of hearty soups made from seasonal ingredients
served with array of toppings, crostini and fresh corn tortillas.
*one soup bone broth-based, one vegan. both gluten-free

Pentagram Crucifers-
Cider-braised Greens, Spicy Oven-crisped Cauliflower, Rutabaga Mash, Root Vegetable Gratin and Kale Salad (all vegan except gratin)

OMFG! Steak & Salad-
718 hand-cured Coffee & Chili or Champagne, Rose & Almond Bacon Steak topped with Fresh Herb Salad and served with choice of sauces.

Thai Fried Chicken-
Chicken marinated in Coconut Milk mixture for 3 days, coated in fine cornmeal and fried crispy and served with Housemade Pickles
*all dishes gluten-free

Love Day Sundae-
Assortment of fresh, homemade cookies and two housemade ice creams
*vegan and gluten-free options
served with Counter Culture Coffee

718 Love Feast
8pm Feb 14th
255 McKibben St. BK, NY
$40/person, $70/pair. Reservations required.

Guests are invited to provide beverages of their choice (BYOB)
TIX: sunday.seveneighteen@gmail.com or theethicalbutcher@gmail.com


Brunch Bash in Brooklyn

The rumors are true. I've left the fair city of Portland and all of its pork-lovers in the interest of building a permanent fixture in the Brooklyn food world. After 3 years of running EB projects solo, I've partnered with a couple of Brooklyn-based chefs for a whole new venture!

718 Farm + Table will be a brunch event presented every Sunday. While this event launches New Year’s Day as a monthly community feast, we are already in talks for a permanent location for Spring 2012. As DJs and musicians provide atmosphere each week, whole pasture-raised animals and market-fresh produce will be transformed into a new menu for Brooklyn brunchers.

What better way to bring in the New Year than a festive brunch with friends?

718 Farm + Table invites you to celebrate the new year and nourish yourself with a luxurious Sunday Brunch! This prix-fixe feast begins at 2pm sharp and meanders through 4 courses of local, seasonal ingredients from trusted small farms and producers. A radically different dining experience, our ingredient-driven menu travels the globe for inspiration, but is built on responsible, local sourcing. The menu is soy-free, with vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options! Showing attention to detail, traditional methods are honored with everything from house-cured bacon to homemade pickles and handmade herbed butter, and of course, the good luck legume dish, Hoppin’ John will start off the meal, but the rest of this menu is top-secret until New Year’s Day!

718 Farm + Table has invited Everyman Espresso to run a pour-over station with Counter Culture Coffee and mulled apple cider will be on offer. If that weren’t enough, guests are also invited to provide their own beverages...a little hair of the dog to wash down your grub? This afternoon affair in a quintessential Brooklyn loft includes music to dine by and post-brunch revelry and dancing with DJ Nolita Selector- nothing short of the perfect Sunday destination!

How could you dream of starting 2012 any other way?

718 Farm + Table New Year’s Day Brunch
January 1st, 2012 at 2pm
255 McKibben St., Bushwick, Brooklyn

Price includes 4-course brunch, coffee and mulled apple cider.

Service starts promptly at 2pm.
Limited seating. Reservations are required for this private, ticketed event.
For more info and tickets for the very first 718 Farm + Table event on January 1st, simply email:



I am honored to be the guest chef for the The Laundromat Project's 2nd Annual Public Art Potluck!! This organization is immensely important and a great resource for all 5 boroughs and even Jersey! Read all about them on their site, linked below, and find tickets at Eventbrite.com, also linked below.

I am not giving away the whole menu yet...you know I like to keep that in my pocket until after the jump. However, my teasers might be enough to get you interested in supporting this incredible group of artists!

I'll be whipping up the most extravagant "Taco Bar", a vast spread of build-your-own deliciousness, with:

Stout Carnitas, Coffee-roasted Pulled Chicken and Roasted Veggie Melange
wrapped in your choice of:

Gluten-free Herbed Waffles, Steamed Cabbage or Fresh Corn Tortillas

With a host of fresh salsa, relishes, sauces and slaws to fill your creation to the brim with layers of big flavor and local ingredients!

Let's cut to the chase, the big draw here is dessert! This may be the best request I've ever gotten, and one that I am excited to grant! You all know I've been doing the crazy bacon limit pushing for sometime now, but the takes the cake, or rather, candy.

BACON COTTON CANDY, that is. Yes. You read it correctly. I'm whipping up a special flavor of bacon just right for these clouds of sugar!

I can't wait for this event! Please head over to eventbrite.com today or come buy tickets at the door!

The Laundromat Project

Thursday, September 29, 2011 | 6pm-9pm
2nd Annual Public Art Potluck

Taller Boricua Puerto Rican Workshop
Julia De Burgos Latino Cultural Center 

1680 Lexington Avenue (and 106th Street)

New York, NY 10029

Tickets | $35 includes dinner and drinks
Buy Your Dinner Ticket Here
2011 Create Change Public Artists in Residence
Hector Canonge, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Jabari Owens-Bailey, Karina Aguilera Skvirsky, and Micki Watanabe Spiller

2011 Create Change Professional Development Fellows
Aliya Bonar, Elvira Clayton, Sonia Davis, Uraline Septembre Hager, Jessie Henson, Gisela Isuaste, Bianca Mona, and Piero Passacantando