We have a date...and an animal! February 10th at Artisanal in Wilmette, we're going to be taking apart a pig! I'm SO excited to partner up with Andy, the butcher, and to experience this event with you guys. He says the pork from his supplier is out of this world!
Here is an outline of what will happen, from the butcher's email:
In the class I break down half a pig in depth, breaking the whole thing down into primals, then sub primals, then specific cuts, etc. It will pretty loosely structured so I can go into more depth based on what the class' specific interests are. Everyone is open to ask questions. Throughout I go very specifically into anatomy, how the pig's anatomy relates to other animals (beef, lamb, etc.) and give thorough explanation on why specific cuts eat like they do. Included in the ticket price is the demonstration, a craft beer tasting before and during [this may change to spirits or add in spirits...some of us don't do gluten] and you leave that night with a giant bone in pork chop cut from that night's animal.
We will use a raffle system for the cuts of meat if we end up with more than 10 people. He can only get 10 chops off a side, so for the more desirable cuts, we may have to resort to luck! Either way, everyone goes home with meat!
NEXT STEP: For the sake of keeping this intimate and accomodating we must cap it at 15 people, sorry. So the first 15 people who email me and pay the $55 fee (this includes a small tip for the butcher, who is otherwise giving his time for free) are set to go to the demo. I am going to try to chat with Artisanal on ways to get this all setup, but if they cannot accept payment thru their website, you will either have to find a way to pay me through Paypal, Chase, or something else (send me a check, etc.) I am new to this, so I am trying to keep this as easy as possible for everyone. You can talk to Melissa on here--we've done some successful meat purchase on here, if you are wary about the payment system. I won't be able to accept refunds, but if you had to bail, you could probably exchange your seat for someone else's. Remember, this is way less expensive than seeing this done elsewhere in Chicago, and you go home with meat!
Payments must be made to me by next FRIDAY, FEB. 1, so I can get the payment to Artisanal on time. We must meet that deadline in order to reserve the shop time! I apologize for the short deadline, folks, but we are moving fast! Exciting stuff!
I just found out last night that a friend of mine's husband is a butcher, and we got to talking last night...for a long time. Long story short, he's interested in hosting a group of folks who'd be willing to come out and learn about animal butchering. We'd be able to see the animal go from whole to the finished product, and we'd be free to ask any questions as the process goes along. Wouldn't this be sweet?! We chatted about potential animals--he says he has access to some of the best pigs around, and lamb would be an excellent option as well.
He works just off the end of the purple line at a place called Artisanal. Don't worry about the location in Wilmette--he says it's literally just a block off the el.
Total cost would be $50 or less if we can get a group of at least 10 together, including food to take home! That would be a kickass price. Comparatively, prices in the city for this sort of thing cost upwards of $75 or more.
I am open on dates, but I need to gauge interest. Reply with any questions and ideas on days of the week that work best! Hoping we can do this before the end of February, at the latest. After I see some replies generated, I'll throw down a prospective date.