, owner ofIl Mondo Vecchio
, founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat, and one of the
, has just signed on withCook Street School of Culinary Arts
to launch a state-accredited butchery certification program -- the only one in Colorado. The hands-on, knife-wielding series, open to Cook Street graduates and industry professionals with culinary training and a minimum of one year in the kitchen, runs from April 4 through June 13 and includes 36 hours of intensive nose-to-tail instruction, according to DeNittis.
"It's my curriculum, my program, and while there are plenty of seminars and butchery courses throughout the country, there's nothing that I know of that covers everything we plan to cover, and no program that exists on a state-certification level," says DeNittis, adding that the classes include sixteen hours of lectures and demonstrations and twenty hours of lab/applied skills, all of which will be conducted in the Cook Street kitchen.
"It's going to be intense, and we're definitely going to focus on nose-to-tail breakdown -- whole-carcass butchery demonstrations and utilization of everything from veal and poultry to beef, lamb and pork, and our plan is to try and source as locally as possible," notes DeNittis.
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"Cook Street places great emphasis on using the freshest ingredients and proteins possible, and we wholeheartedly believe in the nose-to-tail movement," says Theresa Freeman, COO of Cook Street. "It was a natural extension to create a butchery class with Mark, who's a local industry leader and expert."
The program, which also covers sausage-making and dry-aging techniques, is a hefty investment at $2,000, but DeNittis maintains that it's worth every cent. "It's the first program of its kind in the country, but more important, it provides everyone taking the class with a solid foundation that transcends the professional kitchen, and, on a personal level, it's something that you can take home with you," he explains. "Instead of going to the grocery store," says DeNittis, "you're equipped with a mastery of skills -- the kind of skills that allow you to provide sustainability for your whole family."
For more information about the program or to sign up, go to www.cookstreet.com, or call 303-308-9300.