The Gourmet Butcher Releases a Culinary Butchering Course on DVD Featuring Vermont Master Butcher Cole Ward

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The Gourmet Butcher recently celebrated the launch of the new DVD series teaching farm-to-table butchering. In the series, Cole Ward along with Chef Courtney Contos, shares recipes and walks you through the steps as you learn how to butcher.

Cole Ward

The Gourmet Butcher, Cole Ward

A gathering of Vermont food enthusiasts, farmers, chefs and press showed up for a culinary event at Michael’s on the Hill Restaurant to celebrate the fine art of butchery and the launch of The Gourmet Butcher: from Farm to Table– a unique DVD series that takes viewers through the butchering process from primal cut to gourmet meal.

The series features Cole Ward of northern Vermont. A master butcher for more than thirty years, Cole was recently named one of America’s top 50 butchers in the book Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers by Marissa Guggiana. For this project, he teamed up with Chef Courtney Contos, whose background includes a family of four-star Chicago restauranteurs, but who now lives and works in Vermont.

The launch was hosted by The Gourmet Butcher LLC and the Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce. All involved are committed to the growing movement to develop and redesign the agriculture and specialty food industry of Vermont.

Butchering, like many culinary “lost arts,” is making a comeback. Food enthusiasts are planting vegetable gardens, raising chickens, pickling, canning and foraging. Meat CSAs are springing up and more and more people want to know the provenance of the meat they are buying. Chefs are buying whole animals and creating nose to tail menus. The Gourmet Butcher adds substance to this movement.

The DVDs are aimed at chefs, home cooks, culinary students, foodies, homesteaders and farmers who’d like to learn to butcher, or simply want to find out more about cuts of meat and how to use them. The course delivers solid learning for those involved with the artisan food movement as well as do-it-yourselfers in both urban and rural settings.

The Gourmet Butcher DVDs are comprehensive; for example, Ward starts with a side of beef, quarters it, then shows viewers how to create Rib Eye, Sirloin, T-Bone, Porterhouse, Flat Iron and Delmonico steaks. On the same DVD, Chef Contos uses the Flat Iron cut and demonstrates how to make classic Steak au Poivre.

The March 1st launch showcased meat-focused recipes from guest chef Michael Kloeti, Executive Chef and Owner of Michael’s on the Hill Restaurant in Waterbury, Vermont. All the meat was local, with beef contributed by Boyden Farms in Cambridge, Vermont and pork and lamb from North Hollow Farms of Rochester, Vermont and Green Top Farm of Hyde Park Vermont. Wines were from Vermont Wine Merchants.

Among the guests attending were Welcome Books publisher Lena Tabori, James Beard award winner Molly Stevens, co-founder of the Foodie Blogroll Jenn Campus and a cross-section of chefs, culinary educators, farmers and representatives from the Vermont Fresh Network, Northeast Organic Farming Association and University of Vermont Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

The two-DVD set of The Gourmet Butcher: From Farm to Table is available online at One DVD covers lamb and pork and the other covers beef. Each DVD has a running time of 2 hours and 10 minutes. The set sells for $29.95.
To find out more about Cole and the project, visit his blog at Cole's Cuts, or watch the videoclips on the project website.

Journalists may request a complimentary DVD set or photographs of the event and participants by contacting Karen Coshof at 877 527 2131 ext 153 or email at k(dot)coshof(at)stonehaven(dot)ca.


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