An event where chefs team up with local farmers to prepare and showcase local foods by harvesting and cooking a variety of animals comes to Dearing Nov. 8 and Nov. 9.
White Hills Farms will host its first “Augusta Boucherie,” which will feature food from local farmers from across the Central Savannah River Area who follow organic and humane practices. Farmers and other local food experts will provide instructional talks every hour on topics such as beekeeping, canning and cheese-making as well as other food education.
According to a media release, The Butchery – or “Boucherie” in French – brings farmers, friends, neighbors and family members together to help butcher livestock and preserve meat in the fall, assuring that all parts of the animal are used for sustenance.
“Augusta Boucherie is a dynamic festival of local flavors, a celebration of harvest, a gathering as old as the hills and where regionally and nationally acclaimed chefs have teamed up with farmers to showcase local foods,” said McDuffie County Tourism Director Elizabeth Vance.
The 28-acre White Hills Lavender Farm at 1419 Fort Creek Road in Dearing will showcase the livestock harvest in a festival of local flavors. There will be constant outdoor cooking, sampling and instruction. The event will benefit Augusta Locally Grown, a nonprofit committed to growing stronger food systems in the CSRA.
According to Patrick Sutter, owner of White Hills Farm, the boucherie will have something for everyone to enjoy. It will be held from noon to 6 p.m., on Friday, Nov. 8 and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.
All participants are invited to watch and learn as cook teams of 10 provide instruction in boudin sausage making, chicken bog, pit-cooked fish, oyster roasting, proper barbecue hash, kneel down bread, and the outdoor butchery of poultry, rabbit and pork.
“Augusta Boucherie will be an extensive celebration of local farmers and the work they do to put high-quality meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables on our tables,” Sutter said. “Amy and I have long had a passion for local foods. We decided to host this unique event to bring farmers, chefs and the whole community together.”
The funds from the festival will be used to create a competitive Farm Intern Program to start in 2020.
“We hope to provide travel stipends for young adults who are ready to learn by doing,” said Kim Hines, executive director of Augusta Locally Grown.
Chef Dave McCluskey, a local indigenous foods educator, will head up ten teams of volunteer chefs
“Chefs will travel from throughout the country to attend a boucherie,” notes McCluskey.
“Experienced chefs come to teach; greener chefs come to learn. It’s a time for chefs to meet and network. They camp on the property, get to know each other while cooking all night. At boucherie, we hone techniques that you just won’t get exposure to in a typical restaurant or day job. This kind of knowledge would take a long time to learn on your own. We commit to attend each other’s events, and in this way we’ve become a boucherie family,” McCluskey notes.