CHEF-RUN BUTCHER SHOPS
“Meat is the main course. It is your food so you better know where it comes from. Commodity, feedlot, hormone-injected, antibiotic-injected meat is killing us. This is not a slow drip, it’s happening right now.”
- Butcher Jeremy Stanton, The Meat Market in Great Barrington, MA
“I always like to compare pasture-raised beef to wine because you can truly taste the terroir in the seasons and the regions and the areas.”
- Butcher James Peisker, Porter Road Butcher in Nashville, TN
There’s a new breed of artisans making a difference in the farm-to-table food world, it’s the chef-turned-butchers. They are opening boutiques around the country, getting involved directly with the local farmers and making sure the meat they custom-cut for you is grass-fed and pasture raised without antibiotics or hormones.
Here are three butchers doing the right thing, who pass along their recommendations for other meat shops and butchers they love around the country.
The Meat Market
A Whole Animal Butcher, Charcuterie, Sandwich Shop in Great Barrington, MA
“This shop is so special and local. It’s an A++ in my book." - Chef Josephine Proul (Local 111)
“We are a nose-to-tail butcher shop and we have cuts you can’t get at the grocery store, you can’t get at the meat counter,” says owner Jeremy Stanton, a CIA trained chef-turned-butcher. “Going to a butcher is an amazing relationship. When you go to a grocery store and buy a package of meat it’s in a Styrofoam container with a plastic wrap and a label. But this is your food, you better know where it comes from.”
For Stanton that means sourcing from independent, local farms. “In three years, our shop at this little location has contributed almost a million dollars directly to local farmers, putting dollars directly in their pockets.”
In addition to the custom-cut whole animal butchery and house-made charcuterie, they are open for lunch with a menu featuring things like a grass-fed burger, pig face tacos, a Cuban sandwich and chef Stephen Browning’s (Prairie Whale) favorite choice, the liverwurst sandwich. “It’s super good and simple with pickled onion and grainy mustard.”
389 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 | T: 413.528.2022 | www.themeatmarketgb.com
Chef & Butcher Jeremy Stanton's Recs
Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats
“They were the pioneers in the industry,” says Stanton about Joshua and Jessica Applestone who own Fleisher’s, an old fashioned type butcher with two shops, one upstate and the other in Brooklyn. Their grass-fed, organic meats come from farms within 50 miles of their Kingston shop and can be found on many restaurant menus like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Mario Batali’s Casa Mono and Northern Spy Food Co.
192 5th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 | T: 718.398.6666
307 Wall Street, Kingston, NY 12401 | T: 845.338.6666
Saugatuck Craft Butchery
“Ryan Fibiger is doing what he wants to do and is making no bones about it,” says Stanton. Fibiger trained at Fleisher’s Meats before opening his pasture-raised butcher shop. He sources organic meat from local, sustainable farms all within 150 miles of their store. In addition to butchering, they sell sandwiches like smoky pulled pork in a wrap, grass-fed burgers, and Italian sausage.
580 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT 06880 | T: 203.226.6328 | www.craftbutchery.com
You can find all kinds of choice picks like pigs heads, lamb liver, oxtail and tri-tip at butcher Terry Ragasa’s shop. “They are doing a great job cutting meat and are dedicated to their region,” Stanton says of their products which are sourced from nearly a dozen farms within a 15-mile radius. Before opening the shop, Terry apprenticed at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats and became the head butcher at Greene Grape Provisions in Fort Green.
5 King Street, Northampton, MA 01060 | T: 413.727.3409 | www.suttermeats.com
M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats
Call it a surf and turf combo career. For two decades, Michael Dulock worked as a fish purveyor. A few years ago he closed his shop, Concord Fish & Prime, and opened up M.F. Dulock, a modern version of an old world butcher shop. Stanton calls this shop “incredible.” Dulock works with small scale local farms and whole animals that are pasture-raised and sourced within 250 miles. Dulock is about to open a second location in Malden in a former pizza shop.
201A Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143 | T: 617.666.1970 | www.mfdulock.com
New England Charcuterie at Moody’s Deli
Chef Josh Smith most recently worked at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston and Tico, but he learned the art of charcuterie making sausages and patés when he was 19 at Dean & DeLuca in Charlotte, NC. He now owns his own Old World style charcuterie shop and delicatessen selling his house-made cured meats and sandwiches.
468 Moody Street, Waltham, MA | T: 781.216.8732 | www.moodyswaltham.com
Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in Chelsea Market
“Jake Dickson is an incredible guy and is always so giving when I call him for information,” says Stanton. Located in Chelsea Market, Dickson’s get their meats from small family farms in Upstate New York. They have a dedicated following of chefs in New York City, including Nick Curtin of Rosette, who says, “They have amazing cuts of meat and probably the best chicken I’ve had in New York.” Chef Takashi Inoue shops here for his meat-centric restaurant Takashi. “I like Jake’s philosophy about using the whole animal and sourcing from local farms.” During the day, you can pick up lunch like house-made hot dogs, salami, pork and rotisserie chicken.
75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011 | T: 212.242.2630 | www.dicksonsfarmstand.com
Porter Road Butcher
Whole Animal Butcher & Charcuterie Shop in Nashville, TN
"They are passionate owners, passionate butchers. What they are doing is a lost art and they are bringing it back." - Chef Matt Bolus (404 Kitchen)
This boutique butcher shop is co-owned by two classically trained chefs, James Peisker and Chris Carter. Peisker learned his butchering skills when he was a sous chef at Niche restaurant in St. Louis. He and Carter decided to go out on their own after working together at Capitol Grille. “Chris and I started our business as a catering company. We faced the challenge that we couldn’t find fresh local meat and we came up with the crazy idea to open a whole animal local butcher shop.”
They now have two Porter Road locations dedicated to whole animal butchery, as well as selling prepared foods. They are sourcing from local farmers and getting involved from the ground up. “We have a very strong voice in what the animals are fed, where they live, and we never allow our farmers to use any hormones or antibiotics. We try to raise the animals as naturally as possible.”
501 Gallatin Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206 | T: 615.650.4440
4816 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209 | T: 615.454.2995
Chris Carter & James Peisker’s Recs
The Spotted Trotter
“They are a butcher shop doing it right,” says butcher James Peisker, “and they also have their own charcuterie.” Chef Kevin Douglas Ouzts was the sous chef at Eugene, did an externship at The French Laundry and worked at The Fatted Calf before moving back to Atlanta to open his shop. He uses natural, sustainable, humanely-raised and hormone-free meats and ingredients from local farmers to make salumi, fresh sausage, and crepinettes.
1610 Hosea L. Williams Drive, Atlanta, GA 30317 | T: 404.254.4958 | www.thespottedtrotter.com
Butcher & Larder
“It’s about as old school as you can get. They have a simple operation where they cut meat and sell it,” is how butcher James Peisker describes this whole animal butcher shop. “They have a giant wood table that they cut all their meat on. They take the approach of ‘if we don’t have it, we don’t have it until we get another cow.’ ” Butcher & Larder was opened by two chefs, Allie and Rob Levitt, who met at the Culinary Institute of America, and worked in some of the best restaurant kitchens in the country, including Gramercy Tavern. They count many chefs as their fans, including Chris Pandel of The Bristol, who says, “It's a fantastic little meat shop with all locally-sourced pork, beef, lamb, goat, and what have you.”
1026 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642 | T: 773.687.8280 | www.thebutcherandlarder.com
Lindy & Grundy
Erika Nakamura (aka Grundy) and partner Amelia Posada (Lindy - a former vegetarian) run an old fashioned, custom-cut, nose-to-tail meat shop. Everything is sustainable and free of hormones and antibiotics. “They’re really involved with their farmers,” says Peisker. “They are growing the whole system and cutting out the giant corporations so they can focus in on regional meat.”
801 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 | T: 323.951.0804 | www.lindyandgrundy.com
Dai Due Butcher Shop
Charcuterie Shop in Austin, TX
“Jesse Griffiths captures the energy of the hunter gatherer in a refined and approachable way." - Chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro, Coppa)
Griffiths wears many hats including chef, hunter, fisherman, forager, butcher and author of the cookbook “Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish.” On weekends, he sells his old style charcuterie that he makes using high-quality local ingredients at the Austin farmers markets. Chef Todd Duplechan, of Lenoir, buys from Griffiths weekly. “I get meat products and sausages. It’s all hyper-local, hunted things.”
Fridays: Spirited Food Co, 1208 West 4th Street, Austin, TX 78703
Saturdays: Austin Farmers Market at Republic Square, Austin, TX 78701
Sundays: Mueller Farmers Market, 4550 Mueller Central Drive, Austin, TX 78723
Jesse Griffiths’ Rec
Salt & Time
This is a full service butcher shop, salumeria and restaurant featuring fresh cut meats from sustainable Texas ranches. They produce cured meats, starting with whole pigs; they butcher them by hand then cure, ferment and dry the meat using traditional techniques. You can also visit them at the farmers markets around Austin. Jesse recommends trying everything, but especially the salami, prosciutto and pancetta.
1912 East 7th Street, Austin, TX 78702 | T: 512.524.1383 | www.saltandtime.com