Culinary Vegetable Institute Hosts “Party of Butchers” (and you’re invited!)

Aficionados of craft butchery will want to RSVP to their dream party—the upcoming Fête des Bouchers, a one-day event on Saturday, October 12, at the Culinary Vegetable Institute that will gather Northeast Ohio’s finest meat purveyors and chefs.

This “party of butchers” tradition goes back a few hundred years, originating as a collaborative hog slaughter and processing effort that would prepare the community for the winter months.  John Folse, Louisana-based chef, restaurateur and culinary historian, revived the tradition by creating a popular annual event in Baton Rouge that will now be recreated here in Ohio on the grounds of CVI.

Chef Folse will join Farmer Lee Jones, Executive Chef Jamie Simpson, and an impressive group of special guests, who will lead event attendees down a rabbit hole, so to speak, of pork-centric artisan butchery.

Erica Sanicky, CVI’s marketing manager, expects this event to sell out due to the resurgence of craft butchery. “In the past you got your meat from the neighborhood butcher. Snout-to-tail eating is making a comeback. Everyone should know where their meat comes from and know their local butcher,” she said.

The value of Fête des Bouchers goes well beyond delicious eating. The event also aims to remind us where our meat comes from, with lessons and discussions on ethical and sustainable food production, food traceability, and transparency. Prior to the guests’ arrival, chefs and event staff will take part in the Butcher’s Prayer, a traditional ritual of appreciation for the animals who will be sacrificed.

There are two different levels of ticket options—a full day (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and an afternoon that leads up to a Fall Harvest celebration (1 p.m. – 5 p.m.).

Local participants include our favorite “Lady Butchers,” Melissa Khoury and Penny Barend of Saucisson, Vincent DeLagrange of Ohio City Provisions, Brett Sawyer, owner of The Plum and Good Company, Andrew Gorski of Parker’s Downtown, Jerry Rush, executive chef at Butcher and the Brewer, and John Selick, Anthony Verona, Joe Horvath and Ryan Hamel with Sodexo/ University Hospitals.

Also attending will be Master Chef Hartmut Handke (formerly a restaurant operator in Columbus, Ohio), BBQ expert Phil Wingo of Porkmafia, and Brian Polcyn, a Beard Award-nominated chef, and author of the Beard-nominated book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.

All through the day chefs will prepare fresh and cured sausages, head cheese, cracklins, porchetta, ponce, stews, and other traditional Cajun recipes provided by Chef Folse. Guest speakers addressing historical, cultural and practical information are scheduled.  A “Spoils of the Boucherie & Charcuterie” lunch will showcase the multiple ways a pig can be prepared, and the early evening will offer bonfire, entertainment and a wagon ride on CVI’s property.

We’ll be there too, with an intent to forge a better understanding and connection between how and what we eat, and where it comes from.  If you want to join us use the code EDIBLE to save $20 on each ticket. Purchase tickets here, and inquire about discounts and arrangements for groups of 10 or more by calling 419-499-7500.

–Lisa Sands