For a butcher, Cole Ward is in the midst of a media blitz. In October, he was the only Vermonter among 50 meat cutters featured in Marissa Guggiana’s book Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers. Now he’s promoting a new DVD series called The Gourmet Butcher... From Farm to Table.
Ward taught meat cutting to farmers and other locals at Morrisville’s Green Top Market until it was sold last summer. He’d long wished to create an educational series to share his specialized skills, he says.
The idea began to come to fruition when Joe Padulo, his then-employer at Green Top, connected him with Karen Coshof and Michael Taylor of Montréal-based Stonehaven Productions.
Ward recruited chef Courtney Contos to assist him on camera in Padulo’s Johnson kitchen. “I call her my great calming agent,” says the butcher of the stressful shoot. The pair began by taking apart a whole pig on camera, then shared recipes that would best use the pork. Stonehaven was so happy with the episode that it ordered three more, one featuring lamb and two on beef, for a series of four, available online at thegourmetbutcher.com.
On March 1, Ward appeared at an official launch party held at Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury. He hopes his San Francisco-based PR firm will get him TV and radio appearances.
“Right now, I’m not doing a whole lot of anything but promoting,” admits Ward, who is currently on the lookout for a market where he can ply his dual trades of meat cutting and teaching. As for his new media career, Ward says, “A lot of people have a lot of faith in me, and I just hope I don’t let them down.”