Picture Day

I'm feeling like sharing a slew of photos today. I am still in NYC, but looking forward to a new season of events back in PDX and elsewhere. I am working with a very well-loved and talented Portland-based DJ on a weekly series of spring and summer BBQ's complete with tunes and dancing. A few bacon tastings are in the works for both PDX and SF and as the season starts up, a new list of Heritage Breed Supper Clubs will be rolled out! Look for the return of Icelandic lamb and my favorite Red Wattle pork as well as other local, pastured deliciousness! I am also working on a new bacon-of-the-month club that will not be based in Portland...more on that soon.

Enjoy the photos, and look for the first big BCN/PDX event of 2011 to be announced later this week!

This first set of photos is from November's Primal Cuts Fete, a book launch party for
Primal Cuts by Marissa Guggiana. All photos credit Valentine Freeman of Ace Hotel.

Guest of Honor, Marissa Guggiana sits in front of her Primal Cuts. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, do it today!

Just a few of the fantastic dishes created from the 16 whole animals from 3 local farms by chefs Tressa Yellig of Salt, Fire & Time and Random Order, who provided the outstanding bacon macaroons that kept people hovering around the table all night.

Filmmaker Moira Morel (second from right) watches the crowd as they enjoy her film installation. Portland's favorite pet photographer, Carli Davidson stands to her right.

Red Wattle farmer Jim Parker (center) stands near the wall of prints by Alison Picard as DJs Gutter Glamour and Mr. Charming spin tunes.

Yours truly, doing a little talking in front of the film of Annie Brown, who provided the Icelandic lamb for the event, at work on her farm.

Primal Cuts was exactly the kind of event I have been dreaming of since my first event in 2009. It was a collaboration between local chefs, local musicians and artists, open to the public at a very accessible price ($20-30/person) and the food was out of this world!! It was an incredibly unique mix of foodies, press, farmers and the kind of cool kids who don't usually find themselves at food events. Over 100 people had a blast eating, talking and even doing a little dancing that night and I am definitely planning to throw another event like this!

This next set shows the five flavors from last month's Bacon for Brooklyn II: Slabs & Slabs of Love. A few of these are some of my favorite flavors thus far and I can't wait to unroll more new flavor this year as I add to the 80 already in my little black book!

Whiskey Tears-

Bourbon, Vanilla Bean, Organic Hamlin, Mango Blood and Cara Cara Oranges, Organic Meyer Lemon, Crystallized Ginger and Kosher Salt

Champagne and Roses-

Champagne, Roses, Lavender, Jasmine and Chamomile, St.Germain, Juniper Berries and Kosher Salt

Box of Chocolates-

Cocoa-dusted Almonds, Oregon Hazelnuts, Organic Cocoa Nibs, Green & Black’s Organic Fair-Trade Dark Chocolate, Amaretto and Kosher Salt

Cinnamon Hearts-

Cinnamon, Cloves, Sage, Licorice Root, Nutmeg, Molasses and Kosher Salt

I’ll Love You ‘Til My Veins Explode-

Dried Habeneros, Smoked Pasillas & Guajillos, Fresh Serranos and Scotch Bonnets, Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves, Counter Culture Coffee and Kosher Salt

If these bacon photos have your mouthwatering, keep an ear out for the next round of bacon events!


Talking Points

As I wrote in my last post, I am looking forward to a couple of great upcoming events that are fantastic opportunities to continue to build The Ethical Butcher platform, spread the Bacon Gospel and bring new people into the sustainable meat discussion.

The last weekend of March promises to be an explosion of ideas as the first Carolina Meat Conference takes place in Concord, NC. From March 25-27, I will be joining Butcher's Guild founders Tia Harrison and Marissa Guggiana for a weekend of training, butchery workshops, panel discussions and vital networking at this important first convergence of many of the voices and actors in the sustainable meat world. NC Choices, a program of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), is hosting the event and it has taken the work of many hands to pull all the strings together for this landmark event. Butcher's Guild is proud to be co-sponsoring the event and Tia, Marissa and I will be making quite a splash throughout the weekend! There are butchery classes for everyone from novice to pro chef, a big BG-hosted party and I'll be sitting in on a potentially heated panel discussion. Being invited to this first major exchange of ideas, viewpoints, opinions and experiences is beyond humbling. I invite all who can to head over to the link below and register for the conference!

A little more info about conference events and registering for the NC Choices Carolina Meat Conference, March 25-27 at Cabarrus Event Center in Concord, NC :

Fri, March 25th 2-5 pm & Sat, March 26th 9am-12pm
Butchery Craft in Your Home Kitchen
Whole lamb, pig and chicken carcass breakdown with every participant taking home $100 worth of local, pasture-raised meat,
a boning knife and Butcher's Guild tote bag.

Tia Harrison, Co-Founder-The Butcher's Guild, Owner-Avedano's Meat Market
and Executive Chef-Sociale, San Francisco, CA
Marissa Guggiana, Co-Founder-The Butcher's Guild, President of Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats and Author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers
Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher, Portland, OR
Craig Deihl, Executive Chef- Cypress, Charleston, SC
*advanced registration is required; see registration package.

Sat March 26th 3:30-5pm
Facing Ethical Issues in a Growing Market: The Importance of Transparency in Sourcing & Production
A panel discusses the importance of consistent and accurate messaging to consumers regarding product sourcing and production methods.

Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International
Berlin Reed, The Ethical Butcher
Ben Bergman, Fickle Creek Farm
V.Mac Baldwin, Baldwin Charolais Beef
Moderator: Casey McKissick, Coordinator, NC Choices

Sat March 26th 8-11pm
Butcher's Guild Mixer at the Speedway Club

Sun March 27th
Artisanal Butchery and Whole Animal Utilization for Professional Chefs
A meat cutting class geared toward those in the industry, chefs will glean new methods for utilizing whole animals.

Tia Harrison, Co-Founder-The Butcher's Guild, Owner-Avedano's Meat Market and Executive Chef-Sociale, San Francisco, CA
Marissa Guggiana, Co-Founder-The Butcher's Guild, President of Sonoma Direct Sustainable Meats and Author of Primal Cuts: Cooking with America's Best Butchers
Craig Deihl, Executive Chef- Cypress, Charleston, SC

Conference Website:http://www.ncchoices.com/content/8714

In April, I am heading back to Ohio, this time to Bowling Green University for GreenThink Conference, a student-led sustainability conference. This conference is open to students from any university in Ohio or any surrounding states. I will be presenting as well as leading a breakout session in home butchery and can't wait to meet these enthusiastic next generation of environmentalists, activists, chefs, butchers, farmers and general planet-savers! Jane Goodall is among the list of presenters for this conference,and I must admit, I am most excited to see (and hopefully meet) this legendary woman and scientist.

If you've got a conference, college class or any other group to chat with, don't hesitate to
contact me!


Fear Not, Friends!

Wow, a few readers got really worried there with that last post! I just want to do some clarification, and also fill you in on the fun that's happening while I am here in Brooklyn.

First off, I am not ending The Ethical Butcher! That would be crazy!! I am so very thrilled to be representing this entire movement, rather than just my solo work and was attempting to sort of point folks to my new blog. I am still doing the same work and will continue to grow The Ethical Butcher. As I've been saying, there are several irons in the fire right now, this new blog is only the first of many new ventures this year.

I've got new events planned and am narrowing down locations for this season of farm-to-table dinners. LA is a definite, returning to Cincinatti/Covington is also on my agenda. I'll be speaking at conferences in North Carolina and Ohio this spring and have a big trip to Alaska planned for August. I've been invited by a group of folks in the salmon fishery in there Sitka and I'll be touring the seafood co-op, dayfishing and learning about seafood sustainability in much the same way I approached learning about meat sustainability: by going to the source. As you can imagine, it's a little more difficult to head out to the ocean to check on living conditions than it is to drive out to a farm. This is the opportunity I've been waiting for! I would love to hit some new cities this year, so if you have a space to host a dinner or a farm that you'd like me to highlight by doing an event, contact me for info about bringing an installment of the Heritage Breed Supper Club to a dining room near you!

Orders for Bacon for Brooklyn II: Slabs & Slabs of Love came rushing in over the past week! This is by far the biggest cure I've done to date, 40 slabs of beautimous bacon in 5 delectable flavors will be filling the larders of kitchens all over NYC on Valentine's Day! I am heading out in a just a bit to start the fun part: shopping for ingredients! Sourcing in NYC is always an adventure and takes me all over the borough. I'll be heading down to Coney Island, one of my favorite winter spots in the city, and hitting several neighborhoods for special ingredients like scotch bonnets, roses and single-origin coffee. The range of cuisines and ethnic makeup of each neighborhood makes food shopping in NY one of the best ways to spend a day, in my opinion.

It's been a while since I've teased your tastebuds with pictures of my bacon, by many accounts, it's the best bacon around! So, feast your eyes, my friends.

The Feather Boa-Cured in coffee, ground almonds and powdered sugar, then bathed in Frangelico and Brandy while roasting. The crust on this one is INSANE. Talk about meat candy!

Sweet Beets-The wonderfully savory flavor is cured in beets, fresh dill, caraway and caramelized onions. On a burger? To. Die. For.

The Sweet Beets before roasting, I had hoped the color would hold through the curing/roasting process, but only the onions held the color. A pile of hot pink slabs was quite the sight to behold!

I'm really excited about the new flavors I've brought out for Bacon For Brooklyn II and will be posting photos of those slabs next week. Chiles, candied oranges, roses and more, these are going to be gorgeous!


New Moves!

A new cyberworld address, a new job title and new projects!

I recently took on a position: Digital Meat & Media Head of The Butcher’s Guild. I have created the official blog of this new by butchers for butchers organization that is launching this month and the blog is up and running as of today! I have been wading through this meaty world now for nearly 3 post-vegetarian years and have learned enough to know the path to mastery is long and winding. For me, on my usually solo sojourns, that road can also be isolating. Linking up with Tia Harrison of Avedano's and Primal Cuts author, Marissa Guggiana on the development of The Butcher's Guild has been an incredibly inspiring journey. I have had nothing but admiration and respect for these two ladies since meeting them last year and have described both of them as my heroes more than once or twice. I can't think of two butchers I'd rather walk that path with and it is an honor to move with them to this next plateau in the progression of the sustainable meat movement.

My website is being updated to allow folks to easily find any my events, dinners and lectures listed there. I will be posting 3-4 days a week on the new blog about everything from the heavy food politics to meat tattoos and features that showcase farms, butchers and others doing amazing work in this movement. The Ethical Butcher blog will remain in full effect, but much of the post content will reflect what I am doing with the guild and updates on The Ethical Butcher projects. I thank all of the people who have kept up with me over these two years, let’s keep moving on together! Head over to The Butcher’s Guild Bulletin, read my first post and become a follower today! You can also find me every Thursday at OP, blogging about everything BUT food for the next few months...and keep an ear out for yet a few more big announcements. I'm a busy man.



I am back in the borough I love the best, Brooklyn!! Working on those big projects I've been teasing for the past few months and finally ready to release a couple of them, tomorrow.
Just a little more waiting, folks. Tomorrow is a special day for a few reasons...

It's hump day, and everybody loves that. Wednesdays are the hilltop from which we get our first glimpse of the weekend. What better day to launch a whole new project? Come on back tomorrow, February 2nd for some monumentally exciting announcements!

While launching one new project, I'll also be closing a current one. Bacon for Brooklyn II: Slabs & Slabs of Love has been running for the last few weeks and the deadline for orders has been extended until tomorrow. My beloved New Yorkers, you are certainly a crew of stragglers! I find that people in big cities like here and SF don't like to commit until the very last minute. My dinner here back in October sold out in the two days prior to the event, despite being advertised for months. It's a funny little quirk of city dwellers, I guess. Plenty of bacon lovers jumped on the train as soon as the project started, but just as I was ready to wrap up this leg of The Bacon Gospel, more orders started pouring in! I love sharing this bacon with people. Between the quality of the meat, my unique curing methods and the fact that I don't sell this handmade bacon retail or wholesale EVER, it truly is something that you'll never find anywhere else. So, Big Apple, you've until tomorrow to place your orders for the Big Bacon.

Check out the flavors below and then email for order info.

Bacon For Brooklyn II: Slabs and Slabs of Love

Box of Chocolates

Raw Cocoa Nibs, Dark Chocolate and Amaretto with a Coconut-Almond Crust

If life is anything like this, we’re already in heaven! A deep and densely flavored slab gets the addition of Amaretto to create a gorgeously caramelized crust of shredded coconut and ground almonds!

Cinnamon Hearts

Cinnamon, Licorice root, Clove, Nutmeg and Purple Sage and Brown Sugar

Full of wintry spices, this flavor is nice and easy on the palate for those not ready to take the leap into a committed love affair with the more complex flavors. Take heart friends, the purple sage brings a special herbaceous note while the brown sugar keeps it all together.

Champagne & Roses

Rose Hips, Roses, Lavender, Juniper Berries, St.Germain and Champagne

Roses, lavender, juniper and the elderberry flower liqueur, St. Germain combine with a bit of bubbly for a slab that defies expectations by landing as far away from the usual dark and smoky flavor of most bacon. Light in flavor, this one is all about the floral aromas! This year, why not buy a dozen roses in the form of meaty goodness?

Whiskey Tears

Bourbon Whiskey, Crystallized Ginger and Vanilla-candied Blood Oranges

A glaze of ginger and blood oranges is rounded out by sweet, sweet bourbon whiskey may bring you to tears, but there will be no cryin’ around here! Not when you’ve got this slab of big, warm flavors to keep you company!

I'll Love You Until My Veins Explode

Guajillo, Pasilla, Ancho, Habanero and Scotch Bonnet Chiles, Cherry Preserves and Espresso

In honor of one of my favorite love songs, this baby is going to love you just as hard as it can with 5, count them 5, different peppers ready to hit you where it hurts. Not to worry, Counter Culture espresso and cherry preserves will soften the blow and keep you coming back for more.

Order your slab today! $30/slab or try all five flavors for $100!!!
Contact theethicalbutcher@gmail.com for order info.