Posts Tagged ‘Well Preserved’

The Butcher, The Baker (The Candlestick Maker?)


Last month before my birthday, the Everyman admitted that he was at a loss for gift ideas for me.

Since I’m the type of person who will generally buy anything I need for myself as I happen to need it, at first I couldn’t think of anything to tell him.  Aside from that, I hate suggesting to people what to give me, because a) it ruins any semblance of surprise and b) if you want to buy me a present, you should know me well enough to pick something out on your own, otherwise you shouldn’t be giving me a present in the first place.

But, as the date continued to approach he didn’t seem any closer to coming up with an appropriate gift, so I threw out a couple of thoughts, one of which was to attend a butchery session at Cowbell.  I did want to go, but I wasn’t really expecting him to take me up on it because it would mean there wouldn’t be anything for me to open (which is what I find most fun about presents to begin with), but shockingly, he did.  He even opted to leave the gift open ended, so I could choose the butchery session that most appealed to me because they offer classes in just about every kind of animal the restaurant uses on a rotating basis.

For those who aren’t in the know, Cowbell is one of Toronto’s premiere local food bistros, who not only preach nose to tail, but practice it as well by buying whole animals and employing an in-house butcher to break them down in the restaurant’s basement.  Since they bring in a whole animal nearly every week, approximately once a month they offer a class where you can follow along as butcher Ryan does his thing.  There was a class being held on my birthday to break down a red deer (one I would have loved to attend) but we didn’t find out until it was too late (while we were there the day of for my birthday brunch).  Several weeks later we visited with the Everyman’s brother and wife for dinner, and when we enquired we were told that the next session was going to be a Tamworth pig.  It sounded interesting (and we love pork), so the Everyman signed the 2 of us up.

Fast forward to this past Sunday, when we (and the other participants) assembled in the dining room at 7:30, while the restaurant was offering Sunday roast dinner.  After being introduced to Ryan, we were led on a tour of the restaurant, making a quick stop at the kitchen to meet that nights’ staff, though unfortunately chef Mark was not in attendance.  After the brief hello, we descended to the basement to get started.