If you’re my facebook friend or like my Kitchen-at-Camont page then’ you’ve seen the cleaver and board headline floating around for Grrls Meat Camp this month. The event is the manifestation of several simultaneous ideas that blossomed over a year ago, when I explained why it was important to teach and share experiences with other women working in a the meat end of the business. I envisaged a time and place where we ladies could come together and teach each other, encourage one another and share our good works as well as have a good time in the French countryside with like-minded grrls. Last year 12 grrls showed up here.
Informal and fun, outside and with a kitchen, a night of bonfires and stories, lots of good food. That sort of sums of Camont most of the time. I have always thought of myself as Camp Director as students and guests come and go through the revolving French door known as Camp Camont. Grrls Meat Camp is an outreach project of my life here in Gascony.
Earlier this year, some of the grrls kicked around the idea of hosting Grrls Meat Camp in the U.S. to make it more accessible to more, we leaned on Kari Underly and Kathy Skutecki in Chicago to be our ‘grrls on the street’. After diligent research and an amazing cross referenced Excel file of Camps in the Chicago area, Kathy came up with our camp location. Kari’s been sourcing the meat for ‘workshops’ and planning our Thursday night Rendezvous in Chicago. Fifteen grrls have now signed up, from Alaska to DC, Boston to Los Angeles; This year a few smart sponsors are sending there best grrls to represent them. Some are bringing meat, desserts or wine for the ‘friday night edible show & tell’. I’ll be bringing my Gascony-in-a-Box kit: beans for cassoulet, duck fat and armagnac, of course!
We’ll come together to share our work, learn and en-coeur-age each other in the spirit of my Gascon neighbors who have opened the doors to the students who have passed through my kitchen doors. This year we are hosting two students on money donated by a former student as well contributions from the Original Grrls. Spreading the word and sharing are part of the Gascon spirit of generosity I invoke as we get together to discover who’s who at this Rendezvous. The rest of the weekend grows from this open place.
For those interested in the Next Grrl’s Meat Camp or would like to help sponsor a grrl to attend, just put your name on the mailing list by making a comment below or send me an e-mail at KatedeCamont (at) me (dot) com.
See you all in Chicago for the Rendezvous!