Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day Promo!

Don't miss this limited time father's day promo!

We all know that father's are some of the hardest people to buy gifts for so the Butcher's Guild would like to answer all your gifting woes with the Carnephile Membership for father's day!

Purchase this one-of-a-kind gift that is a guaranteed dad pleaser anytime before 6/19 and receive a $10 gift certificate towards any Butcher's Guild purchase! 
Free shipping too!

Dad will be so happy to receive:
-Butcher's Guild Shopping Bag for toting meat around in any weather
-Subscription to The Butcher’s Guild Bulletin [a members-only window into cutting, curing and cooking meat from professionals]
-Welcome to the Guild Butchers' Box [a sampler comprised of a steak, cured meat and a recipe, each provided by select Butcher's Guild professional members from across the country]
-Discounts on the Butcher's Guild apparel

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three cheers for BG Grand Cochon Contestants!

The Butcher's Guild is proud to wish several of our charter members good luck and congratulate them on their achievments thus far!

We're crossing our knives for our members, John Stewart of Zazu in Napa and Brad Framerie of Public NYC, as they compete for the Grand Cochon title! And of course, Cochon 555 founder, Brady Lowe is a close friend of the guild! Aspen is going to be covered in cutters and chefs for a whole weekend and the BG is well represented. Good luck to everyone, especially the 10 farms who have entered piggies!

Can't wait to see who wins! I have my favorites...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ye Olde Honorable Butcher's Guild...Huzzah!

LA Weekly's Squid Ink blog says we have left the 16th Century. Not so! Why, just read the minutes from our latest meeting. read the LA Weekly post here.

Excerpts from the Minutes of The Butcher’s Guild monthly meeting 6/4/2011:

Tia: Didst thou find another Hall of Fame member?

Marissa: Verily! A butcher who has shown great skill and passion for the clubbing of lambs.

Tia: Such an advance from the rock-throwing method of killing. We must celebrate this mighty talent.

Marissa: And what other news from The Guild?

Tia: Each of our members will now get use of a servant to fan cool water towards their meat, to ensure freshness.

Marissa: Huzzah! The mind reels with greater velocity than the orbit of the sun around the earth.

Tia: Will you upload this to the website?

Marissa: Totes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meet The Butcher's Guild and the Guild in Action

Adam Tiberio
NYC and Hudson, NY
Dickson’s Farmstand
Tiberio Custom Meats

How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with "sustainable" meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

The first meat job I ever had was eight years ago at a deli counter in Boston. I learned the most about retail cuts in large supermarkets – how they were supposed to look, what they were called, and what to do with them in the kitchen. I’ve tried to take something from every boss or meat manager I’ve ever worked for, but I learned the most from Rick Lemay, a third-generation guy who runs a custom slaughterhouse in New Hampshire. He’s still the best and most well-rounded cutter I know.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with every conceivable kind of commodity meat - USDA Select/Choice/Prime beef, Wagyu beef, Colorado/New Zealand/Icelandic lamb, Kurobuta pork …pretty much anything you could think of. Thus, when it comes to regionally-raised meat, my perspective is based on quality and the eating experience – I like it because it’s less-intensely handled and almost certainly fresher. I haven’t opened a box of beef in two years, and I feel a lot better about what I put on my plate when I’ve taken it off the rail myself.

What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

I think it’s great that meatcutting is becoming a trade people are beginning to respect again, much as it once was. But I also think that it’s becoming a little too over-stylized, and sometimes it seems as if people aren’t attaching themselves to the right aspects of the profession. In my first meat room I packed chicken for four hours each morning, and it wasn’t fun – I wasn’t even allowed to grind beef in my first year as a clerk/apprentice, never mind touch a knife. So it’s a little appalling to me that some people call themselves a “butcher” after a couple of months…it’s a repetitive trade, and it takes more practice than most people are willing to give it. It takes years to even start to really understand what you’re doing when you pick up a piece of meat. You really have to love the legwork, and never be satisfied with your skill-set. I think that the term “master butcher” is totally absurd, because everyone can always get better. There aren’t any “master teachers” or “master doctors.” The media tends to focus on the “youthfulness” of the butcher movement, but I’m still waiting for the media to give more attention to guys who have been cutting and selling meat for decades at a high level.

What do you believe is the role butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

We as processors and butchers need to make sure we’re as competent and cross-trained as we possibly can be – that we’re always improving our presentation, our efficiency, our knowledge, and our yields. Why? Because “big beef” has already figured that stuff out down to the most minute detail. Thus, since we’re competing for their customers – trying to influence someone to go to a shop like Dickson’s Farmstand, for instance, instead of a supermarket – everything about the shopping experience needs to be impeccable. From the source of the product to its appearance to the cooking advice, the customer has to be thoroughly wowed. “Big beef” will always be cheaper, but we need to demonstrate that regionally-raised, natural meat has more than a happy story behind it.

Second, we need to make the natural meat movement more commercially-viable. Farmers, processors, and chefs all have to sit down at the table and think about economies of scale – at what volume do we need to perform our respective tasks (and in what manner) so that everyone is making money? If we all understand our costs, then we can figure out ways to control them.

What does being a member of The Butcher's Guild mean to you?

Aside from having an excellent opportunity to promote myself as a proprietor (I recently started Tiberio Custom Meats, a USDA-inspected processing company) of a business that falls very much in line with the ethics and mission statement of The Butcher’s Guild, I’m excited to get to know people that I can learn from. I’ve never had another foodservice job outside of meat, so it will be amazing to have a support network of talented, passionate people that come from all walks of the culinary world. I’m ecstatic to be able to ask questions and bounce ideas off of them.

Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:

At the risk of shameless self-promotion, I’m going to go ahead and say the Tiberio Steak. It’s the bottom portion of the chuck roll – the multifidus dorsi, which is directly adjacent to the feather bones. The muscle itself is much longer (it continues into the ribeye cap), but the portion that’s the Tiberio Steak runs only between the first and fourth ribs. I did a lot of experimenting with the chuck roll at Dickson’s and its various muscles, but this portion of the multifidus was my favorite; it didn’t have a retail name, so I gave it one.

It doesn’t need much – some fine sea salt beforehand, a little bit of beef fat melted in the pan (or no oil at all, which also works excellently for a good sear), and then a minute or so on each side. It’s such a soft muscle that you tend to lose some flavor if you serve it anywhere past the rare side of medium-rare. I slice it at a bias, and use a little bit of Maldon finishing salt at the end.

The Butcher's Guild is so proud to have such a passionate, articulate cutter among the ranks! Thanks, Adam!

Now on to some fun things. BG members are busy as summer rolls around!

BG founders Tia and Marissa have been on a mission to get the BG word out. Check out these blog posts!

Here they are putting the “DIY” ethos to the test at the Maker Faire.

On July 16th, the BG ladies wil be judging the OnBay Area BBQ Championship in the Oakland Coliseum. All proceeds from this event will benefit the thousands of foster children, youth and families served by Alternative Family Services All event/tasting tickets must be purchased in advanced at

They'll also be judging Cochon 555 this weekend! Who will be SF's Master of Pork this year?

Brad Framerie has an awesomely bloody new video out. Take a look!

Also look for a video of my interview with Brad in the kitchen at Public NYC later next week!

Nothing says summer like a dance party, so Berlin Reed’s Summer Beats & Bacon tour is filling up! Seattle, Portland and San Francisco bacon fiends can start counting down the days til the party hits their town! Avedano’s will play host to the SF night!

With so many members busy playing the game of meat in their own signature style, it’s hard to keep up with all the meaty happenings around the country! Please submit events to :

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Congratulations, Mr. Facebook!

As some of you meat news followers may have heard, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has just announced that he will eat only animals he has personally slaughtered. The Butcher's Guild is thrilled with this news and we've invited Mr. Social Network himself to join our ranks. This move toward accountability and responsibility for the food we eat is something most of us cutters take very seriously. Whole animal butchery is what this guild is all about, but before we get to the blood-stained aprons and fat-covered knives, somebody's got to make that fatal blow (or cut). Due to USDA regulations, most butchers and chefs don't get to take part in this process. Conversely, many processors don't get to follow their products all the way to the table. For Mr. Zuckerberg to take on this challenge is an inspiration for all of us to become even more connected to the cycle of life that feeds us and the sober moment that is a requisite element in that cycle, and we here at The Butcher's Guild applaud his efforts.

BG founders Tia Harrison and Marissa Guggiana sent this invitation soon after news broke. We certainly hope Mark Zuckerberg takes us up on the offer to join the most cutting-edge meat cutters in the country!

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

The Butcher’s Guild, a national organization uniting sustainability-minded butchers and eaters, is honored to number you among the enlightened carnivores. We want to celebrate your commitment to conscious eating with an invitation to join our guild. This membership will link you to our network of the great butchers and whole-animal chefs of the country to help you find a path to your protein and plate with recipes, butchery lessons and techniques.

Congratulations on this meaty mission to further your personal growth. If you kill it, you need to cut it, cure it and cook it.

We’re here for you,

Tia Harrison and Marissa Guggiana, Founders, The Butcher’s Guild

We'll be waiting for Mr. Zuckerberg's response. Click on this post's title to be linked to a news article and video!

There are also a few new videos up in the sidebar, including a couple from the NC Choices Conference!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Meet The Butcher's Guild!

Gaetano Arnone-
Dickson Farmstand New York, New York

Gaetano Arnone found butchery at his family's restaurant in Orange, California as a way to save money when his father took ill and he found himself running a restaurant. After studying under the guidance of Master Butcher Dario Cecchini in Tuscany, Gaetano returned to the states and is now the butcher at Dickson Farmstand in New York City, where he continues his goal of communicating to butchers and carnivores the traditions and craft that he has come to respect and love. ----BG Co-founder Tia Harrison

How long have you been a butcher and where did you get your start? Have you been working with "sustainable" meats the whole time and if not, what precipitated your shift in practices?

I began butchering at my father's restaurant about 6 years ago after he took ill and we had to save money. I went to a market I worked at in high school where I remembered seeing whole animals in the walk-in and being frightened. I asked if I could come in on my off hours and learn. When I arrived I saw the walk-in this time nearly empty with only boxes of bagged meat on shelves. The older butchers had all since retired and there was no one to show me how to break down the animals I was working with. I was truly cutting blind for some time. Figuring it out as I went along. I hand no other choice.

After seeking out the help of other great chefs and butchers, first with Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats in San Francisco and then in Tuscany with my Maestro Dario Cecchini, I saw what good and sustainable meat was. After that there was no turning back and I could only work with meat that I felt was raised in the best possible methods and traditions, both for the animal and the farmer.

What do you think about the current media hype and attention on butchery, butchers and meat in general?

Any attention to traditional butchery in my humble opinion is good as long as it promotes the connection between the butcher and the consumer. There are times when I'm approached to show someone or a group of people how to cut and it's a bit of a dance to see if they're really interested in what it is we do and want to learn where their food comes from, or if they just want a picture of themselves holding a pig head. Granted it's a cool picture but that's not why I got into this work.

What do you believe is the role butchers in the movement for a sustainable food system and what do you see as the biggest impediment to a truly sustainable meat industry?

Education. The majority of my customers truly do want to know where the food they eat comes from. Butchers work as a conduit to the farmers who, like me, are friends to animals. It's our job to not only educate them on the providence of the animal but also to work with them and their skill set to make sure that the positive experience they have in the shop is continued through the cooking process and eventually to when the meat hits the table. As Dario says, "That animal already died once. Now make sure they don't go home and kill it again."

The biggest impediment I see, again, is education. Once the consumer begins to know what good meat is and how to make it a part of their lifestyle, the producers will have to give the people what they want. If almost everyone can find a way to buy an iphone because they want one, than we just need to let them know how much they'll love good, humanly raised, sustainable meat.

What does being a member of The Butcher's Guild mean to you?
I remember that first whole pig I had delivered to my family's restaurant and how lost I felt. I still think about that pig and hope one day in the great beyond I can apologize for the poor job I did. After that day I knew I needed help and wasn't sure where to go. I know there are others out there like me that are looking for help and The Butcher's Guild is that resource. I see the names on the list of charter members and I'm humbled and honored to be involved.

Your absolute favorite cut and preparation method/recipe:
It changes from time to time but right now it's the Tagliata. It's an Italian cut that translates to "The Cut". I like to cut mine from the peeled knuckle into about an 8 oz. rectangle. Then very simply rub the meat with a nice Tuscan olive oil that has a grassy note to it and season with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt. Give it a quick sear on each side for just a minute or so for color, then put it into a 400 degree oven for only about 6-8 minutes. Let rest, cut into strips, and drizzle with the same olive oil and salt.

It's a simple cut, inexpensive, and easy enough for most apartment living New Yorkers to cook without a grill. It's the perfect beginner steak and opens the door that friendship and trust between the butcher and the customer.

Thanks, Gaetano!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

BG Charter Members in Action

Now that we've started to put some faces to the Butcher's Guild name, check out some of the new and exciting projects involving BG members!

*Kari Underly has just announced the August release of her Bible of Beef, titled "The Art of Beef Cutting" and will be doing a beef breakdown next Wednesday, May 11th as part of the 2011 Beef Boot Camp at the Amherst Courtyard Marriott.

*Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura are rocking it hard in the first few weeks after opening their long-awaited butcher shop in LA. They've even had a few days where they sold out of EVERYTHING! Awesome! Lindy & Grundy is bringing good meat to LA and we're more than proud of these two charter members. Catch up with them in Vegas for All-Star Cochon in July!

*Berlin Reed of The Ethical Butcher, is setting out on a full season of farm-to-table dinners and whole animal-centric events. He'll be traveling to cities from Sitka, AK to Atlanta to Boston from June through November meeting and collaborating with BG members and other great folks in the good food biz.

*The ladies at Avedano's have taken pastured and local meats back to the old school with their new meat boxes. Just like the days when you could walk in and find a great deal on local meat, they've got boxes to fit every budget and palate! Tia Harrison, Angela Wilson, Melanie Eisemann and Dave the Butcher keep SF in good meat from their perch in Bernal Heights. Check them out if you find yourself in their neck of the woods!

*Chef Craig Deihl is currently making his way around New York City as one of this year's James Beard nominees! Congrats to Craig!

*BG friend, butcher Cole Ward, has a great and informative DVD out called "The Gourmet Butcher". Good techniques from a seasoned butcher will show you how to break down pork, lamb, beef and more!

Send all your meaty happenings to and we'll get them up here!