By Toni Ansuini, General Manager, Brocade
Bon Appétit chefs are not only skilled at cooking from scratch and using all parts of the animals, they believe in sharing that knowledge.
At Brocade in San Jose, CA, Executive Chef Ryan Smith recently led a culinary demonstration and class on classic culinary techniques of butchering for 25 guests. Butchery has become popular again as more people want to be assured of their food supply chain. The benefits of butchering meat at home include knowing the direct source of the meat and reducing risk of contamination from processing. But even dividing a whole chicken into breasts and thighs can be intimidating to people, so this was a chance for the audience to learn the necessary skills.
Ryan demonstrated how to hold and sharpen a knife, properly handling and safe practices with a chicken, how to check for freshness, cleaning and trussing a whole chicken for cooking, and identifying different parts of the chicken. Ryan also explained the different cuts: breast, "airline breast," bone-in breast, thigh, thigh-leg combo, drumstick, chicken wing, chicken tender, and a half-chicken.
Even if guests didn’t go straight home to butcher, they will now be more aware of their options the next time they're at the meat counter.
The class was also an opportunity for Ryan to share Bon Appétit’s Kitchen Principles with the group and explain how butchering fresh meat fits in so well with our cooking-from-scratch philosophy.
The event was well attended and guests immediately started asking about the next class! Future class plans include canning and preserving, and making pizza from scratch.