Meet the Farmer, Aimee Danch

This Saturday will be our third Meet the Farmer at the store in Larkspur.  For the unfamiliar, we bring one of our farmers down from Mount Shasta, sit them at the table outside the store on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and they talk shop with our guests for the better part of an afternoon.

It’s no surprise that our first two sessions have gone so well; our guests care about the details of where their food comes from, and we can think of no better way to relay that information than to have you ask our farmers for yourselves.  They’re proud of their practices and they truly love to talk about it.  After our first two sessions (with Kylan and Cody), our farmers have gone back up North as impassioned as ever—knowing how deeply our guests care is all-the-more motivating. 

This Saturday will be with Aimee Danch, our Pasture Division Director.  Aimee is a California native, and has been managing the dynamics of grazing animals and grasslands for years.  Her enthusiasm for her work and her animals is absolutely endless, and her dedication to the process is is downright infectious.  Plan on long, lively conversations.

Aimee will be around between 10am and 2pm, and Chef Ross will be providing complimentary pre-easter lamb meatballs for the event.

On The Meat Board

We rolled out The Meat Board last week without much noise but I wanted to take a closer look at it because I think it really demonstrates what we’re trying to do at Belcampo Meat Co.

Each night for dinner, we choose four cuts of meat from the butcher case to feature on a chalkboard that sits to the right of our restaurant register.  Sometimes you’ll see Bone-In Pork Chop with Fennel Salad, sometimes a Chuck Eye Steak.  The Mix Lamb & Goat Chops with Fresh Chevre was an especially popular one.  ”The Big Meatboard” option gives you ‘All of the Above’ plus a couple sausages.  Like our menu, The Meat Board gets rebooted everyday.

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Our guests have really taken to it because, as much as we all enjoy a ribeye, there are countless delicious cuts worth enjoying.  People who who really appreciate the diversity of the animal need a place to order their way through it.  Last night we listed Bavette Steak (the meat under the fat of the belly); people really loved it, and the questions about the cut made for some great discussion.

Switching up the cuts offered in the restaurant is also a step towards sustainability in promoting whole animal butchery.  Not only does it actively help us use every part of the animal, we’re creating a demand for excellent cuts that are largely underlooked.  As our Head Butcher Chris Arentz told me, “The bigger picture is giving the customer a chance to taste less familiar cuts.  This creates a market for these cuts, which will help whole animal butchery in the long run.”

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The boards we serve the items on are made by Mike Edwards and the woodworking team down at Belcampo Belize from our very own rosewood.

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For those who haven’t seen Allan Savory’s TED Talk yet, enjoy it on your lunch break. He recommends putting thousands of animals (cattle, mostly) onto areas approaching deforestation in order to mimic the ancient herds, refertilize the land, and watch the grasslands reappear at a truly shocking rate. “Clearly we have never understood desertification,” he said. “What we had failed to understand was that these areas developed with huge numbers of grazing animals. Movement kept them from overgrazing.”

Made-to-Order Sandwiches

Cold cuts, cured meats, whatever you call them, we call them delicious.  Our deli case is finally here along with our made-to-order sandwiches!  If you’re looking for a quick bite for the road or to take to the office, look no further.  The sandwich just got that much better with our variety of housemade meats – ham, roast beef, porchetta, smoked turkey, and more!  After choosing which meat you want (this is always the real question when it comes to sandwich making), dollop on some delicious spreads, cheese, and toppings between great bread and you’ve got yourself a sammi to keep you noshing for more.

The Steaks, Chops & Sausage Board

We’re coming to you by way of South American grilling – asado style.  The asado, a traditional Argentinian and Uruguayan BBQ orgy where every cut of meat imaginable is grilled up and eaten, has made it to Larkspur!

The asado begins with the fire.  Flames, embers, and ashes form the cornerstone of this dance-like ritual in which heat and animal become centerpieces before the feasting.  The entire experience lasts for hours as the meat hangs, turns, and grills above the asador or the parrilla.

Though we won’t ignite fire pits or dangle carcasses from branches, we will channel this elemental celebration of flesh and fire.  A charred assortment of meats – like 35-day aged beef chateaubriand, lamb porterhouse, juicy center-cut pork chop and matambrito – culminate in our rendition of an asado spread served with chimichurri and herb butter.  With big bold flavors like these, the board is meant to serve two.  For $80, this may be the most affordable way to travel to the land of the gauchos.