Saturday, February 28, 2009

Charcuterie Guy: Taylor Boetticher

This morning I woke up early and headed into San Francisco to the Ferry Building to check out a talk and cooking demo by Taylor Boetticher of Fatted Calf. Boetticher is a former chef (he cooked at Cafe Rouge in Berkeley) who decided to focus his attention on curing meats and creating his own charcuterie company with his wife (also a chef in her own right).

He started off selling at the Berkeley Farmers' Market (where they still have a booth) and have now grown to a store at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa, Calif. It's at their new larger space in Napa that Boetticher has moved all the production of his charcuterie, including a domestic prosciutto. (Yum, can't wait to try that out.)

For his cooking demo, he made a simple bean salad and topped it with pork crepinettes, which is a pork patty in sausage casing. You can find out more about Fatted Calf's crepinettes (which Boetticher says is one of their more popular items for sale) and recipes at their site.

Chef Boetticher prepares the greens for his bean salad, which included white beans, fennel, red onion, and parsley all mixed in a simple sherry vinaigrette.

These are the pork crepinettes. From afar I thought they were mini pizzas!

Chef Boetticher browns the crepinettes in a cast iron skillet. He took his time to slowly brown both sides.

Plating up his bean salad.

Ta-da! Wow, he really did a nice job browning those crepinettes. Don't they just make your mouth water? They passed out samples to the crowd and I got to try the crepinettes for the very first time. (I've never even heard of them.) It tasted great, and it seemed like a cross between a hamburger patty and a sausage. The crepinettes sold at Fatted Calf's store and farmers' market booth are much larger than these mini version used at this demo. Boetticher says they're pretty rich, but it didn't feel really rich when eating. They just seemed tasty.

Fatted Calf, Oxbow Public Market, 644 C. First St., Napa, Calif. PH: 707.256.3684


Anonymous said...

Jen interviewed Taylor. She's a food blogger & CH. Here's her blog:

Passionate Eater said...

Your pictures look awesome Chef Ben! It looks like you were main photographer! Or did you just have a front seat? I think I need to experience crepinettes, or this cousin to the sausage!

dave said...

How do you find out about these events? Is there a foodie calender somewhere?

Dave B.

Single Guy Ben said...

Thanks PE, it's the magic of my telephoto lens.

Dave B., the Ferry Building has a weekly program during the day of the Saturday market, usually with a farmer's talk followed by a cooking demo, typically around 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sometimes I check the CUESA events page to see if there's an interesting special event coming up:

CUESA events page

But one place that always gives me good tips is the 7X7 Magazine food blog. They have a nice overview of upcoming events, and that's where I get a lot of my info. You can sign up for their weekly newsletter that highlights the best food things to do for the week.

7X7 Bits & Bites