Farm to table sourcing, nose to tail cookery. We hear these phrases often, but it took on a very real meaning when I attended a recent demonstration on butchering a whole pig. The workshop was sponsored by the Seacoast chapter of Chefs Collaborative. Under the leadership of Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet Bistro, this local initiative seeks to further educate chefs on sustainable food choices. In terms of sourcing local meat, this often entails knowledge on the part of the chef regarding whole animal butchery — how to break it down into primals, cut it into usable portions, and utilizing the lesser known parts for full use of the animal.
Meadow’s Mirth provided the woodland-raised Tamworth-Cross pig, which arrived from Adams Farm Slaughterhouse neatly halved. John “Popper” Medlin of Popper’s at the Mill and Popper’s Artisanal Meats, aided by his sous chef, Alex Thomas, demonstrated the craft on one of the halves. The other side was ably taken over by Ted McCormack of Blue Moon Evolution, Rob Martin of The Oaks, and Rob Booz, the Network Coordinator of Chefs Collaborative. Jay Curcio of The White Apron graciously welcomed the lot of us to his ample space and hosted the demonstration. As for the pig, it became a feature of this year’s Heirloom Harvest Barn Dinner, returning from whence it came and appearing in every course, farm to table, nose to tail.
Shown above: Chef Medlin’s tools of the trade. To see more >