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Sustainable Butchering Demo & Tasting

  • Hither Market 376 E Main St Ashland, OR 97520 United States (map)

In this workshop tailored for professional cooks and restaurant owners, leading advocate for sustainable butchery Adam Danforth will discuss the virtues of older animals, how working muscles render more flavor, the inverse relationship of taste and texture, and why we should be supporting farmers more by consuming their older and cull animals. The workshop will include a rundown of meat science and how we experience it as deliciousness, all the while breaking down an older animal into primals and cuts. Adam will answer questions along the way and relate the animal's anatomy to that of other farmyard species. Blind tastings will provide insight into the underlying science of muscle function, texture, and flavor.


This free workshop will help restaurant owners and employees build a more sustainable, humane and healthier community on two fronts. First, it will educate them about the benefits of whole-animal butchery, e.g. minimizing kitchen waste, maximizing flavor, and diversifying menu writing. Following the butchery demo and blind tasting, hosts from Hither Market will provide small bites and light pours. During this time, Susan Moen from Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) will offer a few timely pointers on creating a restaurant culture that helps keep employees safe from sexual harassment and provides restaurants with ways of engaging in sexual violence prevention work in their communities. 

Meat will be provided by Skyelark Ranch in Edgewood, CA.

About the organizers:

ADAM DANFORTH is the James Beard and IACP award-winning author of two books, published by Storey Publishing, about slaughtering and butchering livestock. He teaches workshops worldwide on butchery and meat science for venues such as Stone Barns Center for Agriculture, the James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp, Oregon State University, and the National Bison Association. Adam also consults and provides experiential education to restaurants including Eleven Madison Park, Gramercy Tavern, Bazaar Meat, and Maude. He is the American ambassador for the Butchers Manifesto and a board member of the Chefs Collaborative and the Good Meat Project. Adam lives in Ashland, OR.

JACKSON COUNTY SART runs The Bar Project – popular with customers, owners and staff – that trains bars and clubs to become partners in sexual violence prevention. SART also offers free, immediate care for sexual assault survivors at all Rogue Valley Hospitals, long- and short-term support groups and a K- to 12th-grade sexual violence prevention program that reaches over 5,000 students, parents, and teachers in area schools.

HITHER MARKET is the culinary vision of Corrie and Wesley Reimer. With over a decade of combined experience in New York, Portland, and San Francisco, the couple brings an abundance of talent, knowledge of quality food and wine, and connections with the best farms and purveyors.

SKYELARK RANCH has been raising livestock for meat, eggs, and fiber since 2010. They strive to provide a sustainable income for the family, to be good neighbors, to be positive stewards of the lands they manage, and to provide a safe, comfortable, and healthy environment for their livestock.

Why Mutton? 
There is an untapped market for mutton, culls, and older animals yet to be discovered in the professional kitchen. Danforth takes an in-depth look at the biological processes that affect the flavor and qualities of the meat we eat. Adam illustrates the market potential of eating older animals, dispelling the negative stereotypes of 'tough' and 'gamey' meat in place of more complex flavor profiles. Onsite cooking demos will demonstrate techniques to maximize the flavor of these complex meats and discusses the role chefs can play in driving market demand for these new products. 

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