Martha Stewart may no longer live here, but it’s not like she has a bone to pick with us.
Yesterday, in her cleverly named “The Martha Blog,” she gave a nice shout-out to Saugatuck Craft Butchery — the shop on Riverside Avenue (opposite the old Doc’s) that’s drawing raves from plenty of non-Martha normal people as well.
(On Monday I was at The Whelk — Bill Taibe’s equally excellent restaurant next door, whose meat comes from Craft Butchery. Sure, Bill’s menu is heavy on oysters, clams and other seafood. But my lamb burger at least equaled any dish I had in New Zealand. And the meat there was waaaay beyond mouth-watering.)
But back to Martha (of course). She wrote:
Recently, I learned of Saugatuck Craft Butchery, which opened its doors last November in my former hometown of Westport, Connecticut, and is owned by Ryan Fibiger. Fibiger started his career in finance on Wall Street and after relocating from Manhattan to Westport with his wife, Katherine, he became deeply disenchanted with the food choices in his new neighborhood.
Fibiger learned about a Butchering 101 course being taught by Joshua Applestone at his shop in Kingston. After taking the class, Fibiger started rethinking his career path, spending his weekends as Joshua’s apprentice. Along the way, he met Paul Nessel, who had some restaurant experience and was also deeply interested in the art butchery. The two found a shack to rent near Kingston, which they dubbed ‘Meat Camp’, and spent an intensive eight months learning the craft.
Saugatuck Craft Butchery is a gem of a shop, which Ryan and Paul run together. They are one of perhaps ten butcher shops in America that deal with cutting whole animals from nose-to-tail, sourcing their organic meat from local sustainable farms. It’s also a very friendly shop with wonderful customer relations and a true sense of community.
Okay, as a food writer Martha is no Ruth Reichl or Frank Bruni. But the woman knows her onions.
And her grass-fed, grain-finished, all-natural, humanely raised beef, pork, lamb and poultry too.