Chef Charlie McManus prepares to roast a whole pig grown and slaughtered specially for Primo Grill.
My dream of reading my name in the New York Times remains unfulfilled, but I was pleased to see the name of a Tacoma chef in the paper of record today.
For those who can't get past celeb cook Jamie Oliver talking about killing his own chickens, here's what Charlie McManus, chef/owner of Primo Grill, says about what the Times calls chefs' "new intimacy with the animals they cook," and the "ewwww" factor that turns off some diners.
"For years, all I saw in kitchens was Cryovac steaks, chops, never anything to remind you that this was once an animal," said Mr. McManus. "It's our responsibility and our privilege to educate our customers. A lot of them don't want to hear it, but that's just sticking your head in the sand."
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McManus is quoted not because he kills his own animals, but because of his relationship with Cheryl The Pig Lady, who raises pigs that McManus roasts.
McManus told me last year: "One of the most dramatic things that's happened at Primo Grill is bringing almost-warm pigs straight from the slaughterhouse. A lot of younger cooks have never seen a whole animal before. It's important that our staff understand that it's not just a piece of meat. It's a life that's given that day."
Thierry Rautureau, chef/owner of Rovers in Seattle, told me recently that he kills his own chickens at Rovers. If I ever get up to Seattle for dinner, I hope to watch him slaughter a bird before he watches me devour it.