At our new store at 770 Cascadilla St., you’ll find a greatly expanded selection of fresh meats and specialty cheeses. Meet Evan, our new Meat and Cheese Manager.
What is your background in fresh meats and specialty cheeses?
I attended culinary school at Paul Smith’s College, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and Service management. After graduating, I worked at The Point, a Relais & Chateaux property, under two different chefs. My responsibilities included making cheese boards, three different kinds of fresh bread every morning, and breakfast for the resort, as well as assisting in menu planning and preparation. I was also involved in cooking and plating lunch and the execution of planning, prepping, and plating five- and seven-course dinners. I moved to Ithaca about 9 years ago to be closer to family, and after arriving here I found myself eager to be educated further in the art of butchery and charcuterie. I worked for a local family-owned business for 8 years, starting as a butcher, then moving to head butcher, then production manager, then the facility manager. While there I was in charge of breaking down beef from quarters into all of the known and not-so-known cuts, breaking down pork from halves into trim and all of the popular cuts, as well as making fresh sausages, deli meat, charcuterie, roasts, porchettas, and about 30 to 40 other items.
What is your favorite cut of meat, and any cheese cooking tips?
My favorite cut of meat would have to be the bavette (also known as a sirloin flap steak), not just because it is an amazing tender piece of meat, but also because it brings me back to a weekend with family as we seasoned and prepared half a bavette to slow-smoke over coals with apple wood.
I also love smoking a small double- or triple-creme cheese, such as thr Woolwich Goat Triple Creme Brie, wrapped in cheesecloth with fresh herbs and olive oil. It takes such a short amount of time to prepare, and smoking really offers a world of flavor to your palate.
What would you say to a cheese connoisseur about our selection?
I am excited about how our cheese section can now grow to its full potential with ample space to allow new products to be sampled by the community.