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by Clay Williams

More than most, Josh and Jessica Applestone, the owners of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats,  have changed the way we eat, cook and think about meat. When they opened their original shop in Kingston, New York, they made the decision to work only with whole animals, pasture-raised on local farms, by people they knew personally. This triggered a sea change in the culinary landscape, as restaurants like Gramercy Tavern, Casa Mono and Diner began offering cuts of meat unseen on restaurant menus for generations, and offal began to get its moment in the sun.

Late last year, the Applestones returned to their Brooklyn roots and opened a Fleisher’s branch in Park Slope. As a long-time fan of their work proselytizing the virtues of whole animal butchery, I stopped in several times over the holidays to photograph them at work.

Josh Applestone taking holiday orders a few weeks after the new Fleisher's branch opened in Park Slope.

The case.

Bryan Mayer (left) was butchering at Greene Grape Provisions when he began studying under Applestone. He has since moved to Kingston and now commutes back to Brooklyn weekly to work at the Park Slope location.

Bryan ties pork loin roasts before the weekend rush.

Scraps of pork are kept for 'the grind,' which gets sold in ground meat mixtures and as sausages.

Fleisher's staff is required to wear chainmail aprons while cutting.

Marrow bones on display demonstrate thickness for customers buying steaks or chops.

Flattening pork loin slices for cutlets.

Store manager Jay Fox chats with a customer about the best way to prepare chicken thighs.

Josh manages a respite from the paperwork to take apart a whole lamb.

Within minutes he's gotten the lamb into primal cuts.

Once Josh has broken down the lamb, Steven sorts through the remaining cuts.

Clay Williams is a Brooklyn-based photographer and blogger known online as UltraClay. His photos have appeared in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Edible Manhattan and Midtown Lunch. His current project, Food/Work explores the love and labor that goes into the food we eat.

 

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One Response to Food/Work: Behind the Counter at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats

  1. Pingback: Become a Knight of the Round Dinner Table With this Chain Mail Apron [Past Perfect] | IOS 6 Release Date

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