Delivering Educational and Informative VHS and DVD's

Gourmet Butcher, The: From Farm to Table

Country Available: Canada, USA


The Gourmet Butcher contains four distinct episodes, each of which runs for just under an hour in real time, making it easy for viewers to follow. DVD #1 shows how to butcher a Beef Hindquarter and a Beef Forequarter... while DVD #2 covers Lamb and Pork.

Each episode is presented in three segments (Primal Cuts, Gourmet Cuts and Recipes), easily accessed from the DVD menu.

In Primal Cuts, Cole breaks down the side of the animal as it comes from the slaughterhouse into what are called "Primal Cuts".

In Gourmet Cuts Cole is joined by Chef Courtney Contos, as he breaks the large primal cuts of each animal into retail-sized or "gourmet" cuts. These two friends have worked together for years and, as they discuss cooking methods and recipes, we begin to see a much wider range of options than are normally available in the supermarket.

In Recipes of each episode presents a number of Courtney and Cole's favourite recipes… and we see how our theme of "From Farm to Table" has come to life.

There are also two other short clips on the DVDs: an introductory welcome from Cole and Courtney, and a description of tools that may be required and outline of safety considerations.

Master butcher Cole Ward’s forty-five year career started at the age of fourteen, stuffing sausages in a butcher shop for 20¢ a hour. Wanderlust soon took him across the country and a job at LaFrieda Prime Meats in Los Angeles, the famous meat shop next to CBS studios. Ward’s celebrity clients included Billy Crystal, Bernadette Peters, Edith Head and Raymond Burr. After five years of West Coast excitement, Cole returned home to Vermont where most of his family still lives.

He began working as a butcher at large supermarket chains. “That’s where I became convinced that sustainably raised animals are the only way to go. I soon ended up back at smaller, gourmet butcher shops where I could be more creative and proud of the meat I sell.” It’s no wonder this artisan has a devoted following of customers who go out of their way to find Ward’s fresh-made sausages, his famous Pig in a Flanket and heavenly Chicken Roulades.

When he’s not being interviewed by writers and food activists, this busy 60-year old may be found at a local farm carving up beef, lamb or hogs for a farmer and patiently explaining all the options as he deftly slices it into the primal and specialty cuts his customers appreciate.

Or, you might find him doing a butchering class where he teaches everyone from farmers and foodies to chefs and housewives. Or blogging at Sharing the knowledge he has acquired over 45 years of butchering is one of the things Ward does best. He is convinced the more people know, the more informed meat consumers they will be.

Cole Ward is one of the butchers featured in slow food movement guru Marissa Guggiana’s new book Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Top Butchers (Welcome Books, New York). As he says, “We share the same philosophy and passion about meat, about honoring the animal, not being wasteful and trying to get the message out about humane treatment and hormone-free meat.”

Watch previews of this program at

4 1-hour episodes on 2 DVD discs.

View a printer friendly version of this page...Copyright Date: 2010 Length: 4 x 60:00 minutes minutes Library Audience:
  • Adult
  • Cullinary Arts
  • School Audience:
  • Grades 7 - 12
  • Post-Secondary Education
  • Formats Available:
  • DVD