Interview with Corey Fair, Butcher and Baker

I was fortunate enough to be able to get an interview from Corey Fair, owner of a website dedicated to all things foodie. Aside from being a nice guy he is a born and bred hunter as well. Check out the whole interview below. Sections from this will be published in the Boise Weekly in an upcoming feature about wild game meat processing.

Butcher and Baker

Randy King (Q): Tell me about Butcher and Baker?

Corey Fair (A): I started working on Butcher & Baker back in 2006. I was frustrated that there wasn’t really anything on the market that reflected my lifestyle as a chef and food enthusiast, and I knew there was a large market out there of hunters, home cooks, bbq enthusiasts, bartenders, etc., that all shared the same likes, but didn’t really have anywhere to go that was for them. We want great ingredients in everything we do, not just in the kitchen, so we took that philosophy and applied it to streetwear, home goods, and pro goods. Thus B&B was born.

Q: What trends are you finding in wild game butchery?

A: I’m starting to see a movement towards learning how to use all of the various cuts in better ways. When I was growing up, it was pretty much back strap, roast, and stew. Now you have guys like Jesse Morris at Killerchefs creating dishes like Teal Tom Yum Soup, Duck Gumbo, or Sous Vide Goose. Experimenting with all of these types of cooking methods mean you really have to know how to break down the animal and what cuts go best where and with what technique. This is good because it means in the long run people will become more familiar with Wild Game and more willing to utilize the natural bounty that their areas have to offer.

Q: What is your favorite wild game (open ended, sorry) to butcher?

A: I grew up on White Tail, Antelope, and Axis, so I’ll always be partial to that, but I’d like to get my hands on a bison.

Q: What is your history with wild game? Eating, cooking, butchering ect.

A: I was raised on it. We had a few Quarter Horse ranches and a wild game ranch that my dad worked. Every hunting season we were there, wether it was Quail, Duck, Turkey, Deer, or Wild Boar, we hunted it, broke it down ourselves, cooked it, and lived off of it.

Q: What do you think of this new wave of foodies turned hunters? Is it a trend or a new way of life?

A: I hate when great things are labeled as trends, especially when it comes to the “foodie” movement.  I prefer to think of it as a time when people are hungry for more knowledge and a better way of living. There’s nothing wrong with that. At their core, every hunter and chef is a foodie. We all appreciate and want better products, we want to know how to best use them, and we want to get back to a better way of life. Sure, there are some food snobs out there that I wouldn’t want to be at the table with, but they have their place in the world. If it’s moving the ball down the field and helping people to understand the lifestyle we chefs and hunters have enjoyed, then it’s all good to me. To answer your question though, I think for many it will be a new way of life, and for some, they’ll do it for a while and move on. I’ll welcome the new ones and wish the best to those that found it wasn’t really for them.

Q: Jackson Landers or Hank Shaw? Debate…

A: I think they both have their place and are both unique. Hank is definitely golden in the kitchen and in the garden, and Jackson brings a wealth of knowledge about hunting and the topic of preservation. If the two of them do a hunt and a dinner together, I’ll buy a ticket.

(I completely agree. A double ticket would be great!) 

Q: What is your favorite new cookbook?

A: The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat. Joshua Applestone is doing a lot for the industry and educating a whole new generation of butchers and home cooks that want to learn the art of whole animal utilization and sourcing better quality, responsibly raised meats.

Q: What about your favorite gun?

A: The Marlin 336XLR. I like the lever action and have always been a fan of .30-.30 since my father started me on them in my second hunting season as a kid.

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