California Love

I am really looking forward to this first leg of The Ethical Butcher tour! Here are dates, menus and links about each event!

June 11th will hold the very first event of my tour. Ingel-Haven Ranch, formerly Magruder Ranch, has invited me to prepare a dinner on their 2400-acre ranch. Magruder was one of the first to switch to grass-fed beef and have been setting standards for over 30 years. I'll be using their feral-heritage cross pigs and vitteloni, an Italian-style young beef that is a far more humane alternative to veal. All of Magruder's animals are pastured, including their pigs. As heritage breeds were bred for hundreds of years in different regions and climates around the world and are thus not always suited to their current environments, Magruder has been experimenting with crossing heritage breeds with California feral pigs that are perfectly matched to their environment. This crossing of genes produces pigs that are able to forage the land and withstand the climate in which they live. This is a very interesting and unique tactic that I am excited to learn more about. We'll also be using Tamworth pigs from Lover's Lane Farms for a taste comparison, which should be tons of fun. Lover's Lane honey will be featured throughout the menu and meat from both farms will available for purchase after dinner! This will surely be a wonderful evening of eating, drinking, learning, and merriment. Come experience a meal from pasture to plate!

Menu for Local Harvest Supper Club:

Dukkah-crusted Chevre and Tapenade with Crostini

Pork Liver Baklava made with Lovers Lane Honey

Dueling Strawberry Petit Sele over Summer Salad

White Wine Braised Vitteloni Chops with Finocchia con Latte al Forno and Cippolini in Agrodolce

Woodland Herb Uncured Ham with Wilted Greens and Mustard-Tarragon Grilled Potatoes

Goat Milk Ice Cream with Pollen Sprinkles.

To reserve seats, go to magrudergrassfed.com. Seating is VERY limited, so act fast!
Check out http://www.loverslanefarm.com/ while you're at it!

On June 25th Avedano's Holly Park Market will be hosting The Ethical Butcher for an event that highlights an often overlooked issue. I will be turning my attention toward something that gets put on my back burner far too often: fish sustainability. It is a topic I have written about in the past, but with all the bacon talk and farm visits it keeps getting pushed aside for the things folks seem to be more interested in. This is something I am making a conscious effort to change, at the rate we're going, scientists say we may overfish our ocean's bounty within the next 30-40 years. That is an incredibly alarming thought. Aquaculture is definitely part of the answer, but since irresponsible fish farming is a huge part of the problem, there is much more to be done. Education and awareness are the most important keys to affecting any change. With that in mind, I have been doing these fish sustainability dinners where the menu is built uses strictly fish recommended by MBA's Seafood Watch. In fact, I try to uses mostly species on the "Super Green List". Three of the five choices on this menu are on that list, the other two are listed as "best choice" and "good alternative". The sturgeon is an especially favorite dish to prepare, as I developed it based on a recipe that is nearly 400 years old! In addition to enjoying a meal that is as delicious as it is sustainable, we'll be discussing many of the issues involved with seafood sustainability.

On a personal note, I am honored and excited to be doing an event with Avedano's. An all-woman owned butcher shop is not the standard in this business and I am more than thrilled to meet the butchers of this shop! Tia Harrison is actually also featured in Primal Cuts, the book I am more than ecstatic and humbled to be included in along with Joel Salatin and Josh Applestone. These are the people who are changing the way we eat and raise animals. I am really looking forward to checking this place out!

If you are in the San Francisco Bay area, please come and enjoy this special event!

Menu for Fish is Fish for Dinner:

Oysters with Strawberry-Gin Mignonette

Sardines and Lemon-Horseradish Bacon over Mixed Greens with Juniper & White Wine Vinaigrette

Orange-Tomato Curry Mussels and Crayfish with Garlic Crostini

1612 Sturgeon with Grilled Asparagus and Garlic Whistles

Local Fresh Fruit with Star Anise-Balsamic Reduction and Pignola Creme Fraiche

For info on reservations email at theethicalbutcher.com
Also check out Avedano's at http://www.avedanos.com

Lastly, I will be reading at a very non-food related event June 24th at the African American Art & Culture Complex in San Francisco. The National Queer Arts Festival is holding an event put on by the boys of Original Plumbing Magazine, a transmale cabaret featuring performers and artists of all types. I will be reading an essay that was published in a past issue of the magazine. This promises to be a fun-filled and raucous night, so head over to this link and get your tickets, this event is sure to sell out! http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/111554

Whew! June is looking like a busy, busy beginning to a wonderful summer! Tressa and I will be holding weekly BBQs all through summer and the BCN/PDX Fridays kicks off on July 2nd! Oh, and more info about our summer camp for kids will be out very soon! Portland parents, you'll be jealous of the activities your kids get to enjoy as part of this camp! Farm trips, lots of cooking, kombucha making and I am even going to pass on my bacon making secrets...let's just hope their young minds forget a few details.....


  1. I'd like more info on the Avedano event. Email you at @theethicalbutcherdotcom?

  2. sorry, what is the name/title/string of letters before the @?

  3. Crossing and selecting is important to adjust the livestock to local conditions. With each generation we breed the best of the best and eat the rest. This produces gradual improvements in our herds of pastured pigs.

    I like your title "The Ethical Butcher". My wife, son and I have been apprenticing for about eighteen months with an old time butcher to learn the art because we are in the process of building our own on-farm USDA/State inspected slaughterhouse and butcher shop here on Sugar Mountain. This will eliminate our weekly drive of seven hours to a slaughterhouse down in Massachusetts as well as giving us more control over how the process happens. We spend ten months raising our animals and I would like to be able to have them never leave the farm to strange places for butchering. See this:


    for details about how and why we're doing it and how we're funding it out of pocket and through CSA Pre-Buys from customers.

  4. I recently visited Ingel-Haven Ranch. I love going up there. I'm from San Diego. I wish I could have attended your event, but it was just after Grace and Ben's wedding (on the ranch). I couldn't bring myself to fly back and forth twice in one week. The menu looked absolutely stunning.