It is not possible to have a theme involving outdoor dining and not include Jeremy Stanton. You can find him at The Meat Market in Great Barrington where he set up shop a few years back as the first artisanal butcher I ever heard of. He's a trend setter and travels far and wide with his amazing catering business, Fire Roasted. Check him out here and make sure to experience his gifts in person. Well worth a day trip, and a must if you are a carnivore in The Berkshires!
Cff: Tell our readers a little about you, and your history, your passion, your work.
JS: I was raised in a community for handicap children, just out side Philadelphia PA. I spent part of every summer with my grandma in Copake NY, we would cook and preserve foods, an activity that I loved. Those moments were hugely inspirational. She died about 20 years ago just after I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America.
I am passionate about cooking with FIRE and supporting local agriculture: buying food from local farms is a good way to support local agriculture, maintain the agrarian landscape, and preserve traditional food practices. I am the owner of 2 food businesses; The Meat Market, which is a local meat butchery and café, and Fire Roasted, a catering company which focuses on local and seasonal foods cooked at the event’s site- over open fire.
Cff: Tell a story, have we met? When? Where? Who introduced us? Oh, maybe you are my niece, well, just give a little history here. People love a setting.
JS: We met at your old studio in Housatonic many years ago, I have no idea who introduced us, or why I was there. I do remember being very impressed with the concept of your business. Reusing, in a creative and beautiful way, to create functional art.
Cff: Imagine a story. It is 2030 and we have brought the environment into balance. How did we do it?
JS: In addition to other’s amazing innovations was the success of my campaign to bring people’s awareness to themselves and their own actions. A key component to my message states that telling other people what they should do is not cool! The key is that we are all responsible, and acting with integrity is the only way to live an authentic life
Cff: If you had the power to make one change in the world what would it be?
JS: I would make every person believe that ALL creatures including humans are equal and deserve respect, and the opportunity to be healthy and safe. It may sound strange coming from a person with a butcher shop- but I believe in the natural order of things, the predator/prey relationship between species. BUT I have a huge problem with non-humans being treated as if their only purpose is to feed us. Animals we eat should have led a life including their natural behaviors (open land, grazing, raising young in a clean environment in which they can freely move.) In addition, I would also force self-love on all beings- the knowledge that we are perfect just the way we are, that is the place that healthy aspiration and personal evolution arises from.
Cff: What is your current passion?
JS: My current passion is freedom, allowing every one the chance to live the life they want, free from fear and the binding constraints that stop them from doing what they want. And cooking with FIRE!
Cff: How did your passion come to be?
JS: In the beginning I had a pasta business that was celebrated as a local company. I always felt a little hypocritical, so when I had the opportunity to study local Grass based meat and value added meat production I took it. The New England Heritage Breeds Conservancy had an abattoir in north central Ct. and I was offered a position there, it was a great learning experience. I learned that meat is a crop we can sustainably and humanely grow in the northeast well, and a great way to support local economy and agriculture is buy local meat, thus a passion was born!
Cff: Who/What has been most influential in your work?
JS: There are many many people who have influenced me through the beginning of my career. Through relationships with many farmers and passionate teachers (writers, artisanal food producers, passionate food consumers like my wife) it became clear to me that the solution to the abomination of factory farming , is more local farming.
Cff: Where do you find your inspiration/motivation?
JS: 1) Standing in a field of ready to harvest food 2) at an event site where I get the opportunity to visualize a meal served to the guests 3) when I find a cooking technique rooted in history that I can adapt to today.
Cff: Aside from working, how do you spend your time
JS: I love to tinker with projects at the beautiful home I share with my wife Emily and our kids. Most recently I refined our outdoor shower. In addition I recently took up unicycling and spear fishing!
Cff: Tell about a transforming memory?
JS: I got married to Emily in 2008 my marriage has transformed me. Being married has given me the opportunity to work toward being the complete person I strive to be. Facing challenges with a partner that I would otherwise have left unfaced.
Cff: Do you have a prized possession? What is it?
JS: My 1980 Jeep CJ5, I bought it 10 years ago from VA. My eldest son Kyle and I flew down to pick it up and drive back to the Berkshires. In addition to being a very fun vehicle to play in, that trip was really fantastic.
Cff: Tell about a magical moment that comes to mind when you look back on your life experience.
JS: I believe that we are where we are meant to be, that the universe provides and that people are all connected. Having that belief makes magical moments all the time. 16 years ago my son Kyle was born at 26 weeks gestation he was 1 pound 14 oz. An event that challenged my belief in the infinite power of the universe, and as each day passed and we faced each potential hurdle my faith was restored. I am glad to say that this story has a happy outcome and Kyle is a strong young man.
Cff: If you were able to spend an afternoon with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be? What plans would you make for your outing?
JS: I would spent the afternoon with my grandfather, because I never had the chance to meet him. I would air out the garage and spend some time working on my classic car. We would give the old girl a tune up and stop after a while and have an iced coffee. I would love to know about his life, everything that he had done and not done. We would take the top on the car down and go for a sun filled drive through the Berkshire Hills. Our destination would be Ashintully Gardens we would drive up to the ruins and sit next to the pillars watching the sun set over Tyringham Cobble.
Cff: What is your favorite place and/or way to spend time?
JS: I love the beach, the wind, the smell of the ocean in the wind, the sun. When I make it to the beach I feel at peace with the world. The power of the mighty ocean reminds me of how temporary life is and that we are only here for a glorious moment so we had better get all that we can out of it.
Cff: What is your goal or main focus for your next 12 months?
JS: On the cusp of our three-year anniversary at The Meat Market I am excited about being able to fine-tune my business over the next 12 months. The first year of business consists of a fair amount of thrashing around wildly, year two brings some clarity and systemization, and year three, if you can hang in there, is when it gets fun.
Cff: Do you have an upcoming event or significant happening that you would like to promote with your blog posting? When? Where? Details and contact information please.
I would like to ask people to come to The Meat Market for Fried Chicken on Thursdays, Asado on Friday Saturday and Sunday or just stop by for lunch
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