Butchery Is A Dying Art

Charcuterie is near extinct for that matter. The old traditions bit the dust to make way for more profit—animals became numbers and cured meats became products. The 1940’s gave way to the grocery store mentality: the “one-stop shop”, which provided convenience and low prices. What more could Americans ask for? To meet this demand farms became factories. Pastured animals were forced to live on top of one another, stacked like cards. Massive amounts of hormones and antibiotics became the standard, and still are today. At el Salchichero we reject the ways of the factory and embrace a more sustainable approach to living. The life of the farm animal and average person are highly entwined. Industrial farming affects everyone. The chemicals, hormones, and general crud fed to these animals stays in the meat even right up to the moment they are displayed in your local grocery store’s display case. The small farmer is forced to sell their animals at a cheap price to massive corporate operations. The local water supply is compromised from runoff and pollution. A sad story, but wait, there is good news.

Here at el Salchichero, we are committed to completely sustainable practices. All the animals have been raised on pasture in a stress free environment. You will notice the meat tastes different. Animals that are raised without stress and chemicals taste damn good. The flavor is rich, full and more complex. The way meat was meant to originally taste.

Respect is important. We give this by cutting in a style your great grandpa may have. The animals are cut by hand and by a single person. No assembly lines and conveyor belts. We use everything, nose to tail as they say. We are working to change the norm, but we can’t do it alone. Join us in the sustainable meat movement sweeping across America and make some real change.

The Crew

Chris LaVeque

Chris LaVeque

Nickname: Chrisanthemum

Specialty: Being a good boss

Current Favorite: Housemade Chorizo

Chris LaVeque

Chris LaVeque

Nickname: Chrisanthemum

Specialty: Being a good boss

Current Favorite: Housemade Chorizo


Chris is no ordinary butcher. As the boss at el Salchichero, he wouldn't have it any other way. With a background that includes culinary school, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a Michelin starred restaurant, he’s made a point to buck convention throughout his career—especially when it comes to you and your appetite. In fact, it wasn’t until he saw portions of a cow at a restaurant that he knew he wanted to butcher. It was love at first sight; he marveled in the way the chefs methodically and artfully butchered the cuts of meat. From that point forward, his true culinary quest began. For years afterward, he worked in a professional kitchen until finally the stars aligned and el Salchichero was born. 

Using only local, sustainably raised animals, the flavors at his shop are ferocious and can be singular or complex. He insists that he and his butchers work with ingredients that are only in season which guarantees a constantly rotating arsenal of recipes. It’s a challenge he and his crew relish in; they enjoy brainstorming new flavors as much as they love curating them. He also insists they abide by a very specific code: use every part of the animal, snout-to-tail. He upholds that same attitude with your taste buds: his cuts will put every one of them to use.
Kyle

Kyle

Nickname: Kilo

Specialty: Not letting the shop burn down

Current Favorite: Pork Butt (for carnitas)

Kyle

Kyle

Nickname: Kilo

Specialty: Not letting the shop burn down

Current Favorite: Pork Butt (for carnitas)


Kyle is our shop manager who has been with us for 4 years. He’s a family man who loves to cook and is passionate about our products and our people. Before attending the International Culinary Art Institute of San Francisco, he was a pharmaceutical research tech in Davis; there, he learned to cultivate his curiosity, an experience that was carried into his development of recipes. His recipes are bold and adventurous—yet satisfying. What’s more, you would think his numerous formulas would be stored in piles of notebooks, but he keeps most of them in his head. He enjoys building relationships with customers and often talks about where the meat is sourced, the high quality products, and the care of the animals. His knives are something to behold. Sharpening his blades are both an art and a reflex for him, especially when it comes to the tools of choice—offset and boning knives.

 

When he’s not in the shop, he’s spending time with his wife, kids and two labs—sometimes backpacking through the Sierras. If you meet him, be sure to ask about smoking meat with his Big Green Egg.

Adam

Adam

Nickname: Faithful (49er)

Specialty: Schmoozing

Current favorite: Maple Mustard Pork Chops (with tater tots)

Adam

Adam

Nickname: Faithful (49er)

Specialty: Schmoozing

Current favorite: Maple Mustard Pork Chops (with tater tots)


Adam is our shop assistant manager who joined us from Ben Lomond Market, where he was the Meat Department Manager for over five years. As Chris’s long-time friend, Adam knew from the start that he wanted to work at el Salchichero. He loves talking to customers about recipes, while offering advice on cooking times and temperatures. He has mad knife skills and can tie a roast in his sleep.

When he’s not at the shop or going to a 49ers games, you can find him testing recipes in his own home kitchen or subbing for Bob at the farmers market. When it comes to your taste buds, his memory is incredible; he is widely regarded for recalling many of his customer’s orders on a whim. Working with meat has taught him a valuable lesson: while each shop customer is different, market clientele is equally varied. So, if you get to experience his customer service at the market or at the shop, let him know what your favorite products and (most importantly) what you’ve been up to in the kitchen.

Bob

Bob

Nickname: Just Bob

Specialty: Farmers market aficionado

Current Favorite: Maple Mustard Pork Chops

Bob

Bob

Nickname: Just Bob

Specialty: Farmers market aficionado

Current Favorite: Maple Mustard Pork Chops

 
Bob is a busy guy. As the resident el Salchichero patriarch—you’ve probably seen him slinging tasty meats at the farmers markets in Santa Cruz, Live Oak or Scotts Valley. If you talk to Bob, ask him about his favorite cut, the Maple Mustard Pork Chops—we promise you that your appetite won’t regret it.

 

His passion for delicious cuts started all the way back when he was a young teen sweeping floors at an old school butcher shop in Los Gatos. Like much of the crew, he became transfixed with the way an animal is broken down. That feeling of magic and precision stayed with him for a long time. After retiring from a career in the high tech workforce, he knew it was only a matter of time before he was working close to home again. When Chris told him he was opening a butcher’s shop, he jumped in with both feet providing the infrastructure and establishing the farmers market relationships. When he’s not at the markets, he’s working with wood, breaking it down with the skill of a seasoned butcher. Finally, at the end of the day, when all the meat has been sold and all the furniture has been built, Bob has over 100 chickens to tend to—he’s also the chief egg washer. On his days off, you can him find him fishing or exploring our local redwoods. Hey, we told you he was a busy guy.

Marge

Marge

Nickname : Mad Marge

Specialty: Cracking the whip

Current Favorite: Biscuits & Gravy (whatever she can bake with)

Marge

Marge

Nickname : Mad Marge

Specialty: Cracking the whip

Current Favorite: Biscuits & Gravy (whatever she can bake with)


Marge is the shop mom—every kitchen needs one. In addition to cracking the whip, she does all of the pickles, preserves, mustards and sauces. A former pastry chef and baker, she’s also the force behind the killer pasties that have been set loose on the shop. As long as you pronounce them pay-steez, you should be fine. In fact, you will be more than fine. Her recipes are larger than life and she doesn’t shy away from the unconventional. (Think bacon chocolate-chip cookies.)

If that weren’t enough, we know you’ll be impressed by her flair. She does some fancy work on the specials board. Yeah, she’s a bit of a marvel, but she’s our marvel—and judging by those pay-steez in your hand, she might be yours too.

 

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We want to see what you are making and enjoying from el Salchichero. Join our community by tagging your posts and photos with #elsalchichero. Oh, and join our newsletter for the latest specials too.

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