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Farmhouse Group Opens its Commissary

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Some of the Burlington area’s favorite restaurants are about to get meatier and sweeter. On July 2, master butcher Frank Pace and chef Tom Deckman began processing meat at the Farmhouse Group’s long-awaited Winooski commissary. Pastry chef Samantha Madden and her staff of three bakers started baking in their expanded space in the same 5000-square-foot building. The Guild Commissary will supply Farmhouse Tap & Grill, El Cortijo Taqueria Y Cantina, Guild & Company and the soon-to-open downtown butcher shop Guild Fine Meats.

Chef-partner Phillip Clayton says that, on the bakery end, Madden and her team are making desserts for each of the group’s restaurants and buns for burgers at Farmhouse and Guild. Having more room to make sweets is likely to result in a wider variety on the restaurants’ dessert menus before long.

In the near future, the bakers will add bread to their output, replacing baguettes from Red Hen Baking Company with rustic loaves of their own.

On the meat side, the first change diners may notice is the quality of the ground beef in burgers and tacos. Clayton says the Guild Commissary will now be able to grind it all to Pace’s specifications, and “that will be a noticeable difference.” He also expects diners to taste the changes in the steaks at Guild & Company. New bone-in cuts, such as T-bones and porterhouses, will soon be on the menu, thanks to bone saws. The Laplatte River Angus Farm beef will all be Vermont born, Clayton says, acknowledging that some of the farm’s cattle are not.

Of course, the biggest news is the upcoming debut of Guild Fine Meats on Burlington’s St. Paul Street. Clayton is hoping that next month the shop will begin selling selected blends of ground meat, homemade bacon, handcrafted sausages and sandwiches with house deli meats. Aged charcuterie will follow soon. Check out our blog Bite Club: Vermont’s Food & Drink for more details on the upcoming butchery.

The original print version of this article was headlined "A Cut Above"

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