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With National Butchers’ Week coming up at the end of the month (24th-30th March), it is a pleasure for me to be working on this fascinating guide to the craft of butchery to be published by Chelsea Green on the 27th. In fact the book explains the whole journey that our meat makes, from farm to table, and is a bit of an eye-opener for anyone who cares about how their meat is sourced.

Published by Chelsea Green

The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat

In The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat master butcher Cole Ward aims to revive the traditional culinary art of butchery – an often overlooked but vitally important aspect of the farm-to-table movement.

The most comprehensive guide available to the complete process of meat production, the book will be invaluable to small-scale butchers, to chefs who want to broaden their skills, to farmers and smallholders, to the many who attend butchery courses, and to anyone who cares about how their meat is sourced.

The book features two master British butchers: Balson Bros, Bridport, Dorset – Britain’s oldest family butcher (as featured in BBCTV’s Hidden Histories series), and MacDonald Bros, Pitlochry, Scotland, owned and run by the MacDonald family since 1928.

“A good butcher is an ethical professional who knows the provenance of his or her meats,” Ward writes. “I want to give everyone an understanding and appreciation of my craft and its culinary artists, and I want to celebrate and support struggling small farmers and quality-meat producers. So my mission is nothing less than to bring back culinary butchery—a craft that we must never lose.”

A major benefit of the book is the enclosed CD that contains over 800 step-by-step photos demonstrating how to cut up a side of beef, a side of pork, a whole lamb and a chicken.

Author of The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat

Cole Ward (photo: Karen Coshof)

Cole Ward is a master butcher based in Vermont, USA, who combines hands-on butchery with teaching his craft at culinary academies, colleges and agricultural and sustainable-living conferences.

Karen Coshof is a photographer and film producer specializing in environmental subjects.

National Butchers’ Week UK: 24th-30th March 2014

The Gourmet Butcher’s Guide to Meat by Cole Ward and Karen Coshof is published by Chelsea Green, RRP £35.99 including CD with 800 images, and is available through all good high street and online booksellers.

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