Blackbelly Brings Bites With Butchers to Denver | Westword

Blackbelly Brings Bites With Butchers to Denver

The event series features butchery demonstrations by Michelin award winner Kelly Kawachi.
In 2023, Blacbelly butcher Kelly Kawachi was the Michelin Guide Culinary Professional award winner.
In 2023, Blacbelly butcher Kelly Kawachi was the Michelin Guide Culinary Professional award winner. Blackbelly
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Blackbelly is bringing back Bites With Butchers, this time to its new Denver location at 41st and Tennyson, which was formerly home to Il Porcellino Salumi. Benefiting various Colorado-based nonprofits, tickets ($85 per person) for the first event on Wednesday, June 26, sold out quickly, but more Wednesday night events will soon follow.

Each event in the series will feature a butchery demonstration by Michelin award winner Kelly Kawachi, who will offer cooking techniques and tips while breaking down a section of meat donated by one of Blackbelly’s partners.

Blackbelly owner and Top Chef season five winner Hosea Rosenberg will accompany Kawachi’s cuts with carefully chosen bites and an assortment of beer and wine. Afterward, guests will have the opportunity to purchase cuts from the animal.

Ten percent of ticket proceeds and 100 percent of the meat sales will support a different nonprofit. This month, Bites With Butchers benefits Sophie’s Neighborhood, which Rosenberg and his wife, Lauren Feder Rosenberg, founded to fund research for a treatment or cure for Multicentric Carpotarsal Osteolysis (MCTO), a rare pediatric disease with only thirty identified patients in the world, including their daughter, Sophie.

“Bites With Butchers started about five years ago in our Boulder shop, and it was always this awesome community gathering," says Feder Rosenberg, who is also co-owner and director of communications for Little Piggy Hospitality. “It took a hiatus when the pandemic hit, and we’ve been wanting to resurrect it for a while. And since our operation here in Denver is strictly daytime, we have an opportunity to bring people in after hours and show them the cool stuff that we do.”
click to enlarge a man in a red apron posing with a woman in a black apron
Blackbelly chef/owner Hosea Rosenberg with award-winning butcher Kelly Kawachi.
At the first Bites, Kawachi will tackle a Duroc pork shoulder from Mcdonald Family Farm, including the rich, juicy presa, often called “the wagyu of pork.” She’ll also carve the front shank, front trotter and the jowl. “I'll be breaking it down,” Kawachi notes. “People can ask questions, and I’ll describe along the way what I'm doing to the piece of meat and give people cooking tips on each muscle and what’s best suited for it. Hosea will be smoking, but for the demo, I’ll be cutting [the shoulder] into steaks that people can buy.”

Rosenberg’s accompanying bites include a housemade charcuterie board, croquettes made from the shank and trotters, guanciale cured from the jowl, and tacos with smoked pork.

Kawachi is particularly excited about introducing guests to the presa. It’s “a type of steak you don't really find at many butcher shops, and that's kind of why we wanted to feature it. It's very marbled, so he's just going to do a seared pork steak with some chimichurri. People can expand their knowledge on different cuts and not be as intimidated, and be encouraged to try something new. It's so easy to go to the butcher shop to get a pork chop, but there's so much more to it, and as long as you have the time and the patience with can cook anything.”

The next event, on August 28, will feature a rib section from Bootheel 7 Ranch and benefits Asian Girls Ignite. The October 16 edition will highlight a Buckner Family Farm lamb leg and loin, with proceeds going to the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson's.

“We've never used the space for an event like this,” Feder Rosenberg notes. “We want to make sure it's the right head count and that the layout works. The idea is to definitely keep it going, and we'll announce additional dates in the fall.”

Blackbelly Market is located at 4324 West 41st Avenue and is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. For more information and to purchase Bites With Butchers tickets, visit
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