Eight years ago, before the idea for the Portland Meat Collective took root in me, I called up Kate Hill, an American cooking teacher who'd been living in southwest France for twenty years, and said "I want to learn how to butcher. Can you help me?"
Kate didn't even bat an eye. "I'll introduce you to Dominique Chapolard. He and his four brothers and his wife, run a seed-to-sausage pig operation. They'll teach you everything you want to know."
And they did. Dominique, along with his wife Christiane, invited me onto their pig farm, and into their slaughterhouse, their pig barns, and their sal de coupe, or cutting room, where they and their family transformed pigs into fresh cuts and delicious charcuterie which they sold at outdoor markets each week.
Since then, Dominique and Kate have traveled around the globe teaching his seed-to-sausage approach to whole animal butchery and charcuterie to hundreds of students. Those of you lucky enough to have attended one of their classes when they've passed through Oregon, know that they are masters, at teaching, at butchering, at cooking, at making charcuterie, and, perhaps most importantly, at creating community around the table.
“It’s our approach to being human, that is the most important part of my teaching," Dominique likes to say.
Now for the sad news. Dominique recently got the kind of bad news about his health that no one ever wants to receive. The prognosis isn't great. However, his health is stabilized, he has maintained a positive and hopeful attitude, and, lucky for us, his doctors have encouraged him to travel as soon as possible. And Dominique wants to travel! He wants to come to Oregon one last time to teach a master class and to gather all of us around the table.
To honor Dominique's wishes, we're offering a day of teaching and learning with Dominique and Kate on November 13 at The Nightwood. This will be an immersive experience suitable for chefs, farmers, butchers, and culinary students, as well as home enthusiasts interested in butchery and charcuterie techniques.
For the morning session, we'll invite a larger group to join us for a French Pig Butchery for Charcuterie Demonstration with Dominique and Kate, followed by a charcuterie-inspired lunch with wine from local producers.
In the afternoon we'll gather a smaller group for a hands-on charcuterie workshop that will focus on dried sausages and cured whole muscles. All proceeds will go towards getting Dominique, his wife Christiane, and Kate here for what will likely be his last trip to Oregon.
For more information click here! Join us! Space is limited so sign up soon!