Just because the restaurant has taken a break from serving dinner during the month of January, doesn’t mean we’re sitting around watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. Far from it. In addition to designing menus for the upcoming season, taking inventory, deep cleaning the kitchen, and organizing the stock, Chef Alphonsine will be taking a hands-on Meat Fabricating class. Meat Fabricating is the term for breaking down a full side of beef into useable portions.
This process is generally given brief attention in a culinary school, but unless the chef has the opportunity to work with it on a daily basis, the skills required to create these cuts are never fully developed. Most busy restaurants usually order ready-to-serve portions from their food distributor as a matter of convenience.
This one-day workshop includes expert instruction in proper cutting and preparation techniques and all aspects of meat processing, even a tour of a mobile slaughter unit and stationary facility.
The class is sponsored by Island Grown Farmers Cooperative, a group of farmers from five NW Washington counties who joined together to process meat from their own farms in the IGFC’s USDA-Inspected facility. They believe that by controlling all phases of production, they ensure that their meat is of the highest quality.
Alphonsine is excited about the class. Coming from a busy restaurant environment where everything came in ready-to-cook portions, she’s been learning “the hard way” how to deal with the large cuts that have been coming into the restaurant. Now the question is, do we have room to fit a whole side of beef in our tiny restaurant kitchen?