Growing up on the Hibiscus Coast north of Auckland, I had one passion and one desire. Fitting too, that the same passion and desire was the same as three generations before me.
Visiting the local butcher shop with Dad to collect chops for dinner, I was excited for the doors to open and to experience the smell, the layout and the friendly guy behind the counter, who would give you a slice of ham or a cherrio sausage. When I look back now and think of all those occasions, it’s no wonder it lead to where I am now.
At the ripe old age of 13, I remember walking into the local butcher and asking if I could help in anyway, which lucky for me lead to two days a week after school, scrubbing dishes and mopping the floors. This lead to a full day Saturday, helping carry out the trays of meat the butchers had cut to the cabinet which was my first introduction to dressing a window display. (that and working with colours is something that still stands out, as such vital advice at the time) . Realising that school wasn’t for me and making this vocal on a Saturday at the shop, I was kindly offered an apprenticeship . There I was at the age of 14 with my apron on and my knife pouch by my side. I was on cloud 9. Three years later I received my certificate and was a qualified tradesman when my peers were getting ready to leave school.
I’ve always been passionate about the craft and the art that comes with this trade that has so much history. I wanted to learn it all . Setting off around the world I learnt things from working in a cold little shop in London, which still has sawdust sprinkled over the floor. Modern butchery equipment was absent as a cleaver was your only tool. It was fantastic! In Scotland I learnt the art of making haggis and cured meats in Italy. Skills that would further me into and take me into deeper knowledge of this craft.
Collecting knowledge and now with 16 years of experience, I find my passion in the art of sharing – teaching and passing on bits of what I have learnt from around the world. Which leads me and you to here.
Introducing my Art of Meat Masterclasses.
I’ve designed a range of butchery Masterclasses, held in my new home town of Hawkes Bay, with my Gourmet Direct family. Here you will have a two and a half hour class with each class playing a different role and touching on a different area of the trade. The sausage making class I held recently was a huge success. It’s a place and time where passionate foodies can come and learn a new skill, meet new people, and taste some local wine from local winery Petane Station . It’s all about creating a community of food enthusiasts where I can share my passion for what I love.
I hope to see you there one day soon!