Cochon & Charcuterie: Workshops from Gascony

Cochon & Charcuterie- a workshop with Gascon farmer/butcher Dominique Chapolard

and American cook/teacher Kate Hill of the Kitchen-at-Camont.


In Gascony where Chapolard farms and Hill teaches at her 18th century Kitchen-at-Camont, good pork, duck, lamb and beef provide the backbone of classic charcuterie. Kate and Dominique are bringing their savoir-faire and love for this good Gascon food on tour to America with Cochon & Charcuterie: a workshop from Gascony to demonstrate the intricate art of butchering traditional French pork cuts for the preparation of authentic charcuterie. Professionals, cooks, food lovers and Charcutepalooza’ers will learn the basics of traditional French seam butchery and authentic charcuterie from these two passionate teachers and their welcoming hosts.

Cochon & Charcuterie full day workshops are scheduled in two locations on the East Coast- Stonyman Gourmet Farmer near Little Washington, VA and Claddagh Farms Cookery School near Belfast Maine; two half-day workshops are scheduled at The Herbfarm in Woodenville WA near Seattle, an evening workshop at the Portland Meat Collective in PDX created by former student Camas Davis in Portland Oregon and a Special XL version 2 -day workshop at Woodberry Kitchens in Baltimore. Links to the individual workshops are posted below and links will be lit as they go live:

March  14 & 15 9:00 am -1:30 pm     The French PIG: the elegance of the cut- The Herbfarm Restaurant Woodenville WA.

March 16 4:00- 8:00 pm                       Working with the Master- Portland Meat Collective- Portland OR location TBA

March 18 9:30am -5:00 pm                 Seed to Sausage Charcuterie- Claddagh Farms Cookery School (aka Podchef Farms), Montville ME (Special 10% Discount available for official Charcutepalooza participants)

March 20 9:30 am-1:00 pm or 9 am – 5 pm                The French PIG: glorious Gascony comes to  Stonyman Gourmet Farmer Little Washington VA

March 21 & 22                                            Two day XL Workshop  Mon 2pm -9pm, Tues 9 am-4 pm  Woodberry Kitchens Baltimore MD

In the half day workshops, Dominique demonstrates, using seam butchery method, the breaking down of half of a pig, a farm-raised fully-mature animal, into premium French cuts. Kate and Dominique then transform some of these basic cuts using traditional recipes- a repertoire of authentic Gascon charcuterie recipes using only salt and pepper, curing, and storage techniques. In this workshop you will learn to make and cure: ventrèche (pancetta), coppa, noix de jambon (a specialty cut of the Chapolards) and other whole muscle charcuterie.

The full-day workshop begins in the morning focusing on seam butchery and a hands-on option devoted to learning  the important anatomy, knife skills, professional techniques, meat hygiene, and skills to safely butcher a whole farm-raised pig in the French manner. During the Tasting Lunch, prepared under Kate’s expert guidance, we’ll talk about French full-circle farming as the Chapolards practice in Gascony. We call it Seed-to-Sausage farming. The afternoon we will transform the charcuterie cuts into traditional terrines, patés, ventrèche, poitrine salée, coppa, jambon and filet sec. We will also prepare the head for tete de fromage and other cooked charcuterie. In the full day workshop we will explore the four corners of charcuterie: cooked, salted, cured and  dried.

photo By Ron Zimmerman- taken at The Herbfarm

…As soon as he made the first cut, the whole class shut up. Not a word. After a couple of minutes I realized I had my mouth wide open. I wasn’t the only one. Dominique’s skill with a knife was honestly like nothing I had ever seen…” Matt Wright

Team Camont: From the Kitchen-at-Camont in Southwest France come two of our valued teachers. Kate Hill created the Kitchen at-Camont as a culinary retreat on the foundation of an 18th century Gascon farm. She teaches and organizes year-round programs, writes and blogs about her “artisan life’. Dominique sells Kate great fresh pork and charcuterie every week at the market. Over 15 years of good pork, they became friends and now teach these travelling workshops to share their love of all things Gascon, especially its Cochon & Charcuterie.

Dominique Chapolard, along with his 3 farmer/butcherbrothers and their wives, prepare eight to ten of their own farm-raised Large White/Pietrain/Duroc pigs each week. Fifty-two weeks of the year. 500 pigs. That’s a lot of charcuterie. Dedicated to the l’Art du Cochon on their small farm near Mezin, France, the Chapolard family grows all the grain and seed that the pigs eat for their entire 12-month-old life. Each week the humanely killed pigs are transformed into fresh cuts (roti, cotelettes, jambon, jarret, etc.) and charcuterie cuts (jambon, coppa, filet, tete, saucisson etc.) to sell at four weekly markets. All their charcuterie is cured using the time-honored traditions of just salt & pepper, smoke and time.

Kate Hill is a great cook, a patient teacher, a lyrical writer and the founder of the Kitchen-at-Camont. Since 1990 Kate has moored her Dutch canal barge at the foot of this historic French farmhouse, while patiently transforming a nettle infested and bramble covered hectare into a trio of organic gardens. A towering pigeonnier became a guest house, its piggery transformed into a pantry, and the two meter wide fireplace defined the ultimate Gascon kitchen.

Kate acquired her deep knowledge of Gascon cuisine from her friends and neighbors in France- the artisan food producers. Today, when she’s not tending bees or chickens, or weeding her vegetable garden, she’s guiding a novice’s hand in the kitchen, rolling out a buttery pie crust for guests, or challenging visiting chefs to explore beyond the kitchen’s walls and into the fertile Gascon countryside. An accomplished cook and teacher Kate has studied traditional and authentic Gascon cooking, home butchery and charcuterie for over two decades.

Kitchen-at-Camont presents Cochon & Charcuterie, a workshop in traditional French techniques and savoir-faire.

What others say:

Michael Ruhlman: http://ruhlman.com/2010/04/the-saving-graces-of-pigs-and-charcuterie.html/comment-page-1

Matt Wright: http://mattikaarts.com/blog/charcuterie/the-pork-pate-the-french-butcher-the-pig/

Hank Shaw: http://honest-food.net/2010/04/26/humbling-win-humbling-experience/

Camas Davis of Portland Meat Collective: http://ladebrouillard.com/?p=238

Chez US: http://www.chezus.com/traveling/charcuterie/

For more information contact: katehill at email dot com.

DUCKFEST Deux- East Coast Dec 3-5 w/ Neal Foley at Claddaugh Farm

Duckfest New Year on Pod Chef Island 2010. What Ducky fun was had by all! To anchor down the end of 2010, Neal Foley and I team up again, this time in his new digs in Mid-Coast Maine for a pre-holiday, get your terrines ready Duckfest Deux at Claddagh Farms. Thanksgiving is over, Christmas has yet to begin, what better time to come learn about French Ducks from Confit to Rillettes.

Just in time for the winter holidays, we’re going to start the season off with a three-day weekend of good food and fat ducks at Neal’s new Maine farm.  Three days/two nights of good food, conviviality, duck butchery and confit-making. Come and learn the little secrets of French farm-wives and time-honored traditional recipes for preparing and preserving confit de canard, terrine de foie naturale and le Grand Cassoulet.

December 3rd—Friday:

  • Arrive on at the farm, mid-day, and join Kate and Neal at Kitchen Garden Headquarters on Claddagh Farm for a traditional French, super-authentique, Camp Cassoulet class & feast. We will be pairing red wine and armagnac with the cassoulet. Enjoy this early winter dinner, full of locally sourced & foraged ingredients—many from the farm itself.

December 4th—Saturday:

  • Breakfast: We will set ourselves up for the day with a light breakfast of coffee, tea & home baked pastries– Kathy Foley’s baked goods are not to be missed! I still remember bagels, scones, muffins…
  • Morning: Duck Butchery- Neal will lead a how-to workshop on Duck Butchery. A primer for the professional or home chef, come to the farm to learn humane slaughter methods, plucking, eviscerating & processing. This course is for beginners, chefs & cooks who want to know where and how their food gets from the farm to the table.
  • Lunch: Kate and Neal will prepare a winter pique-nique of found and foraged foods to share the diversity of mid-coast Maine and Kitchen Garden Headquarters.
  • Afternoon: Traditional French Confit Making Part 1- The importance of proximity becomes apparent as we work with the fresh carcasses, removing the natural fat livers, learning the meat cuts, then trimming and rendering the fat while learning the nuances of salting and seasoning. Fatted Ducks are larger and meatier than roasting ducks. Preserving meat by poaching in fat (confit) is the perfect way to showcase that flavor as well as store at room temperature.
    Dinner: We will learn from Kate how the French dine as we pull together to improvise a dinner from the farm, the day’s activities, and the mood.

December 5th—Sunday:

  • Breakfast:Start the day off right with coffee, tea, conversation, and more fabulous farm made delights. Did we talk about CREAM?Buckets of fresh thick cream?
  • Morning: Cooking and preserving Confit Part 2- We begin the confit process, cooking the duck to perfection in a slow and patient process. No rushing allowed: stir, stir, rest. When cooked, we will preserve the tender meat for pantry storage with its translucent golden fat in glass jars.
  • Lunch: A farm Feast: Field & Shore, severed with homemade breads and inspired by our time spent together.
  • Afternoon: Final wrap up of thoughts while our new friends—you—prepare to depart with a basket of Ducky Delights in hand.

Cost:

Duckfest 2010- $495 per person 3 days/2 nights (accommodation available- request information)

Contact Us For more information and follow the daily Duckling on Twitter with @podchef and @katedecamont!

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Winter Workshop in Artisan Butchery & Charcuterie: Special 3-week course.

What can you learn about whole hog butchery and charcuterie in a 3 weeks? Enough to fill your plate everyday for 19 days and return home with a suitcase full of savoir faire. At Camont, it’s farm to table everyday.

This is intensive study for serious students, professional cooks, and farmers who wish to refine their knowledge or begin to acquire the foundation of a traditional apprenticeship in French butchery & charcuterie. Based on the French methods of alternating theory and practice, students follow a curriculum designed by farmer/butcher Dominique Chapolard and cook/teacher Kate Hill especially for English-speaking culinary arts students and professionals.

This is a complete program- 3 weeks of intensive practical study. Perfect for those looking for hands-on training and experience with working with whole carcass butchery, ‘short circuit’ farm to consumer production and nose-to-tail cooking. At the end of three weeks, you will understand the raison d’etre of the farm-raised pig, from French field to French kitchen.

AB&C Three Weeks:

  • half of our work days are spent on the Chapolard farm and in the ‘salle de coupe’ or butchering room under the guidance of the butcher/farmers are balanced with days in Camont’s kitchen where we refine and practice the techniques learned as they apply to your own professional needs.
  • Workshops are 5 days a week plus an optional extra day of working the Saturday Market with the Chapolards. Weekends are free and left to your own discretion to travel, sightsee and shop. Agen is located 1 hour+ from Toulouse, Bordeaux.
  • You will need and learn a working vocabulary in both French and English; Kate is there to translate for you as needed. Simple questions and dialogue relating to the work at hand are taught in special Kitchen French classes weekly.
  • Tools, jackets, aprons and boots are provided at Baradieu, however personal knives are allowed and encouraged at Camont. More info on this later.
  • Although most of the butchery & charcuterie we work with is pork based at the Chapolard’s farm, we also have access to a small cattle farmer/butcher and foie gras duck and geese farmer/butcher.
  • Week One is a complete overview of the farm process from grain to slaughter, seed to sausage. The week begins with two days of butchering on site preparing for the market, a day excursion to other butchers and farms, a day to focus on charcuterie cuts at Camont followed by a day back in the butcher shop.
  • Week Two begins again with hands-on butchery at the farm, followed by two days of curing charcuterie at Camont (including duck) and a day of working with foie gras, terrines and pates. An excursion to the abattoir or slaughter house is planned.
  • Week Three completes a breakdown expertise by working with your own half hog. The initial breakdown will be at the farm butcher shop, followed by transformation to sellable cuts and charcuterie at Camont. An excursion to another smaller producer for comparison and inspiration is planned.

All Recipes for Natural Charcuterie using only salt and pepper.

Saucisse de Toulouse.Pate au four.Fricandou.Paupiettes.Brochettes.Pate de tete.Boudin.Jambon Blanc. Noix de Jambon.Saucisson.Saucisse seche.Coppa.Chorizo.Merquez.Rillette

Winter 2010 Dates: Dec 20 2010- Jan 7 2011. 19 days total comprising of 15 days of workshops and 4 days of free time for study or travel.

Winter 2010 Rates:  6000€ includes room and board.

For further info about availability, comment here

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