“Chef and farmer teach Charleston cooking class students to butcher and use the whole animal”

By Helen Mitternight Special to The Post and Courier
Dec 13, 2017
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What’s good for the goose may be good for the gander, but it’s certainly good for duck, chicken or turkey, according to the owners of a new butchery and cooking class.

Blair Machado, formerly chef at Indaco and Park Café, and Patrick McKinley, owner of Thaddeus Farms with his wife, Lindsay, are among the culinary professionals trying to fill the cooking class gap left by the closing of Southern Season and Charleston Cooks! Their niche is classes with an important twist: Before you prepare your protein, you learn how to butcher it.

“Those skills are becoming lost. For some people, chicken breasts are what come on a Styrofoam tray,” McKinley says.

McKinley and Machado launched Farmstead from Baker & The Farmer, a John’s Island retailer that features an on-site butchering room. There, the two recently taught a small class how to cut up a goose, and demonstrated dishes that can accompany the goose and help use up the whole bird.

Machado says if you know how to butcher a goose, you can cut up your own chicken, duck or turkey.

“It’s the same skeletal structure, ligaments and muscles,” he says. “And once you do a rabbit, well, a goat is just a giant rabbit, and a deer is just a giant goat.”

Machado began his butchering career with a 15-pound suckling pig at FIG. “Within a few weeks, I was doing a 300-pound pig,” he says. “Once I started cutting, I realized it was exactly the same.”

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