by Alice Levitt
In this week's paper, we share the news that the Guild Commissary, which will supply all the restaurants in the Farmhouse Group with meat and baked goods, is now open. That means delicious things for the Farmhouse Tap & Grill, El Cortijo Taqueria Y Cantina and Guild & Company.
But when we spoke with chef-partner Phillip Clayton, he also had lots to say about the forthcoming Guild Fine Meats butcher shop on St. Paul Street in Burlington.
The goal is for the store to open next month.
Clayton says that now that they're moved into the 5000-square-foot Winooski commissary, master butcher Frank Pace and chef Tom Deckman are perfecting products in three categories. First, there will be raw Vermont meat, including hand-selected grinds of more than one cut or animal, such as meatloaf mixes.
There will also be value-added products, including house sausages and what Clayton calls, "The best bacon I ever had." The pork belly is rubbed with black pepper, juniper and salt, then smoked. "We start with really good pork ,then you don’t adulterate it too much. It's a pretty simple cure, then a good, slow smoke," says the chef. The bacon will be sold both in slabs and slices.
Baker Samantha Madden and her team at the commissary will make Guild Fine Meats' bread, which will be used in sandwiches, stacked with house deli meats, including smoked ham, roast beef and turkey breast. The butchers are experimenting with brisket, so expect pastrami or tender, barbecue-style beef.
The butchers' final phase is getting their line of dry-cured meats ready for customers. Let the countdown begin!