To learn her craft, Erika traveled to Gascony, France to study with master butchers. Kate Hill and Dominique Chapolard taught Erika the intricacies of seam butchery, nose-to-tail processing, and classic French preservation techniques. Following the program, Erika interned with the Chapolards to refine her skills, butchering pigs at their family processing center, making value-added products under their tutelage, and participating in a work day that centered around slow food. After long mornings cutting and preparing meat, she was amazed by their two-hour lunches, where the family stopped to enjoy and nourish themselves. While the Chapolards worked hard, they integrated their work into the pace of a day, where family and friends anchored all they did.
The Chapolards use pigs raised on a “seed to sausage farm” where the pigs and all their food come from the same 100 acres. The Chapolards butcher each pig, create a range of products, and then sell all of their wares directly to consumers at weekly farmers’ markets. Every aspect of the process is about the integrity of good, local food, which translates directly into outstanding flavors.
We strive to bring you meat products that honor the European tradition and capture slow, local food at its best. In that spirit, Erika remains involved with Kate Hill’s Grrls’ Meat Camp. In the fall of 2017, Erika traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark to attend The Butcher's Manifesto summit in order to work with other butchers to celebrate a community devoted to preserving the age-old European tradition of hand-crafting high-quality, slow cured meats.
“Food brings us together, nourishes us both literally and figuratively: time at the table is time well spent. Cooking for others is a generous and civilized act, even if it’s just a simple pot of beans.”
— David Tanis, Heart of the Artichoke
“Our full humanity is contingent on our hospitality; we can be complete only when we are giving something away; when we sit at the table and pass the peas to the person next to us we see that person in a whole new way.”
— Alice Waters