Meat is back! So proclaimed culinary curator Hendrik Haase, editor of the book Crafted Meat: The New Meat Culture: Craft and Recipes (Gestalten, 2015), at an intimate tasting and educational event at Zazu, a restaurant at the Barlow in Sebastopol. Co-hosted by Slow Food Russian River, the Friday Happy Hour featured a presentation by Hasse, who was visiting from Germany on a book tour in the United States. After Hasse’s talk, John Stewart and Duskie Estes, the “King & Queen of Porc” and owners of Zazu Kitchen + Farm, described the local meat scene in Sonoma County.
According to Hasse, Stewart and Estes, quality artisanal meats that combine tradition and innovation are replacing questionable mass-market industrial products. Today, diners care about how animals are bred, fed and raised. They’re keenly interested in food quality, cultural influences, heritage breeds and regional specialties.
Upon arrival, guests were treated to a “beer & bite” – a Russian River Blind Pig draft paired with a salsiccia & gnocchi fritto and fennel crafted by butcher John Stewart and chef Duskie Estes.
Peg Champion is a leader at Slow Food Russian River. Photos by Karen Preuss. Karen Preuss is the president of the chapter.