4 Things An Animal Must Have (according to butcher Dario Cecchini):
- A good life - a healthy life with natural feed and ample clean space to move around
- A good death - no trauma when being transported, which often leads to shock
- A good butcher -someone who knows how to select the right parts and cut them in a way that brings out the best qualities
- A good cook - someone who can dignify the animal and all those whose labors led it to this table
Foxhollow has been lucky to have some prestigious visitors over the years, but working with the team at Bravo's Top Chef was different from any experience I’d had. It felt like we built a relationship. The production crew visited us several times over a few months - they came to the concerts, walked the farm, and learned about the animals. However, my commitment as the Top Chef Cast Gardener didn’t necessarily mean Foxhollow would make a show appearance. So it was a happy surprise when I got the call that they wanted to use an animal from our farm for an episode featuring internationally-renowned butcher, Dario Cecchini. They were flying him from Italy to demonstrate butchering the whole animal to the "9 primal cuts.”
Our head herdsman, Derek, and I went straight to the herd to pick out a perfect animal. We chose a beautiful heifer that was part Angus and part Corriente. Her Corriente ancestry meant she was small framed but she was filled out to perfection and showed all the signs she’d make well-marbled and flavorful meat.
We took her to Memphis Meats, the family-owned processor in Indiana we’ve partnered with since Foxhollow’s beginning. They slaughter using humane methods and ensure quality is top-notch. Derek personally drove her (as he does with all our animals) to be sure her ride was stress-free. When the beef had been processed, two production assistants brought a refrigerated truck to pick up the 907 lbs. of beef the processor had split into two sides....
The story continues - check out Part Two of Our Beef Appearance and other Top Chef Kentucky adventures: Gardening with the Cheftestants, Creating the Top Chef Garden, Supper with Padma, and Growing Veggies with the Cheftestants. .
Tune in to Bravo to catch Episode 7 of Top Chef Kentucky.