The Queen is Calling.

It’s time to get back on the road...

Next week I am embarking on the eastern leg of my tour. This summer has been so busy I haven’t even had a chance to write about the incredible experiences I had during the western leg back in June! Though, there is a slide show here that does justice to the days we spent on Mac Magruder’s 2400 acre ranch: http://ethicalbutcher.blogspot.com/2010/07/magruder-ranch-slideshow.html#comments

Following the entire chain from slaughter to table, and fully participating in, if not initiating each step along the way was the closest I have ever felt to doing the “right” thing.

Yes, I realize what a loaded statement that is.

The earlier dates of this tour also helped me sort of define the purpose of this journey. I am really looking to connect and hear the stories of farmers in all of our very, very different bio regions. As the obstacles faced by a rancher in Northern California in producing and selling sustainable products can be and very often are different from the issues presented to a pig farmer in North Carolina, it is learning about these differences that excites me the most.

So many critics and sceptics love to ask: "How can 'Sustainable' feed the entire country?" My answer?

IT WON’T. Plain and simple.

The push toward local food systems necessitates by definition that we begin to think regionally about our food system. We must begin to tackle these problems for our own communities. As grassroots organizations and small farmers continue to build momentum in this movement, this is how we are all changing this system. It is not the USDA label of “Organic” that will save us, at least not as long as so-called “Conventional” agriculture and factory farming is also approved by the same entity. We would also do well to solve many of our energy and climate problems by severely altering the extent to which we move food around our country. As every region searches for the solution to their own particular circumstances, it is the tireless and often thankless work of these farmers, butchers, chefs and others that will pull us back from the brink of disaster. Having the opportunity to meet these heroes is precisely what this tour is about.

And so, on to the meeting...

I will be in Cincinnati/Covington for several days next week, taking part in this year’s Farmer’s Fair. I am honored and thrilled to participate in the list of events they have lined up for me! If you live near Cincinnati, be sure to swing by one or all of the events put together by the Farmer’s Fair folks!

Selfishly, I am most excited for a video shoot I am doing with Jay Denham. Jay and I will be breaking down two lovely heritage breed pigs according to the Italian method. Most people don’t know there are several traditions of butchery: French, American/British, German, etc.. Jay picked up his Italian technique from the one and only Master Butcher Dario Cecchini and has passed it on to writer Micheal Ruhlman for the upcoming second edition of Charcuterie. This being a journey of learning, I can think of nothing else I’d rather travel a few thousand miles for.

Over the course of the day on Saturday, I will do three bacon curing demonstrations at the booth as well as a short presentation about the Bacon Gospel as part of the latest installment of the project, Bacon for the Queen City. Friday night I will be presenting a more formal version of Bacon for the Queen City with chef Mark Bodenstein at his popular Chalk food + wine restaurant. As each new installment of the grander project looks a little different, I am really excited that this leg is taking place in so many forms over just a few days! It is chance for everyone to participate whether you want to sample, make or indulge in the pleasure that is the Bacon Gospel.

Jay and I will have the video of us cutting together playing all day at our booth on Saturday, during the Earth Mother Farmers' Market from 10am-4pm in Covington, KY. We’ll also be passing out delicious samples of our pork from the video shoot as well as talking with visitors.

Please check out the following links for more info on events and locations! See you next week!!

Chalk food + wine http://chalkfoodwine.com/

Toronto, Montreal and Brooklyn...you’re next! October is just around the corner!

No comments:

Post a Comment