Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The key to successful charcuterie is to have a starting point and go from there. I have some friends (you know who you are!!)  who have crazy ideas and jump head first into them with the end result not always being fruitful. I on the other hand like to slowly progress from things i have learned in the past. Call it playing safe if you will, I will be cooking for many years to come so i am in no rush.  I have never been the type to try and come up with the next best thing and you can see that in our food. None of our dishes are "cutting edge", they're not trying to be. They are meant to be kept simple. Obviously we are limited with our kitchen set up, but even if i was given a huge kitchen with all the gadgets, perhaps even a gas stove and a regulation hood, the hoof would still be doing the food we do. Which brings me to my point. The hoof is a breeding ground for knowledge. We come in each morning excited to try something new based on something in the past. 
Here you have the headcheese set with the tongue and pig ear, which if you remember both started out as separate identities. 
And again, here you have the testina and the cottechino both started out solo and have now joined forces. 
I guess this is how the quail got stuffed into the chicken and then eventually into the duck. People get bored, especially chefs. Most of us continually push to learn new things. The art of charcuterie has taught me the art of patience. As quickly as i master something, im right back at the beginning with the next. It's as if im running around in a circle but each time its gets much bigger. Amassing information as i go. 
This blog post is about to get way to heavy for 4 in the morning....
My brain hurts. 
You know where i was going with this...


RedEarth said...

Had the head cheese last night - delicious! Man do I love tongue. The tongue was great with the tarragon mayo, too... The pig's snout was also awesome, in all its porky goodness - it was like concentrated pork! But my fave of the evening had to be the raw horse sammy - like a truly unctuous deconstructed tartare on perfectly complimentary bread, it had all the right elements: tangy, zippy, rich, and luscious. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Those were some good eats, but I wish I hadn't been too stuffed to try the testina. Oh well, there's always next time. Thanks, Grant.

pofu said...

dude, you the man. cutting edge and figuring out new shit is one thing, but the key I think still is putting shit on a plate that taste good; and you are doing that extremely well. kudos for both having patience and desire to learn and also a sense of adventure.

I have not eaten at most of the top places in toronto, as I moved here not long ago, but the care and thoughts you put into your food was just fucking great, and it shows on the plate and in my mouth. I don't know shit about shit, but I like what you are doing, please keep it up.


Larbo said...


I've been wanting to make more charcuterie with buffalo. Any recipes you'd be willing to share? How about that buffalo salami with the dried blueberries?

Thanks! Love your blog; I only regret that I'm too far away to actually taste what you write about.

Grant van Gameren said...

Thanks guys!

Glad your enjoying the food!

Larbo, email me, and ill send you a recipe.

Larbo said...

Thanks, Grant!

I've looked round your blog for contact into, but I'm not seeing it, so I don't know how to send you an email! You can reach me at laurencemate@yahoo.com

I'm using some buffalo to make nduja today (you can read about this Calabrian sausage on my blog), but I'd love to have more recipes. I'll be posting the recipe for my version of nduja as soon as I work it out.