Seven Springs Speaker Spotlight: Cole Ward, Butcher

| 9/16/2011 4:47:10 PM

Get to know Cole Ward of The Gourmet Butcher.

Cole WardHi Mother Earth people… I’m really looking forward to meeting you in Pennsylvania.  I’m honored to be speaking at the Fair, and thought you might like to know a little more about me.

I’m Cole Ward of Vermont, and I’ve been a master butcher for (cough) more than forty years.  Ancient but I like to think, still cute.  I’m a private butcher, teach culinary butchering at culinary institutes, agricultural and trade colleges, and give butchering demonstrations for organizations like NOFA (the Northeast Organic Farming Association)… or for anyone who asks me.  Can’t help myself.

I’m a charter member of the just-formed national Butchers’ Guild, and was featured as one of the USA’s top fifty butchers in Welcome Books’ “Primal Cuts:  Cooking with America’s Best Butchers”.  I write about meat issues on my blog ColesCuts, and recently launched the first culinary butchering course ever produced on DVD, titled The Gourmet Butcher.

I’ve worked in supermarkets, in Hollywood (but that’s another story), and in small gourmet butcher shops.  In all those years, I’ve seen trends come and go, and witnessed the increasing dominance of factory farming, and – what really concerns me – the gradual disappearance of the neighbourhood butcher.  It’s my dream to see that trend reversed, which is why I can’t keep my mouth shut about the importance of understanding where your meat comes from, knowing how the animal was raised and treated, and how cleanly and safely it was processed.  I cannot stress this enough.

These are just a few things I’ll talk about during my presentation at the Fair, as I demonstrate a few ways to turn cheaper cuts of meat into tasty, tender dishes.  I’d love to show you how to cut up your own entire pig, lamb, or cow, but that’s a little ambitious for a 45 minute presentation!  But I do hope you’ll see that it’s eminently possible for anyone to learn how to cut their own meat;  I’ve taught many non-butchers how to do it. 

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