“Our varieties of sausages and salumi feature prominent notes of local muscadine wine, sorghum and spice berries — just to name a few.”
Much of the meat served in our restaurants is sourced from local farmers from whom we buy whole animals. What is not used as a featured fresh cut is then transformed by our butcher into a cured, dried or otherwise preserved meat product such as bacon, salami or country ham. For our guests the goal is education, and we want to encourage people to learn more about the source of their meat.
Michael Sullivan is the Charcutier (or Butcher) at Blackberry Farm. He creates sausages from foothills ingredients, while his salami deploys local muscadine wine, sorghum and spice berries. Michael learned about the importance of passion from his father, a baker who was overjoyed to wake before dawn and never lost his excitement for how each day’s yeast was different from the previous day’s. Sullivan assumed that the joy he took
in preaching and caretaking meant that he was born to minister. By his early thirties, he left the church, moved his family to upstate New York and attended the Culinary Institute of America while continuing to work full-time at restaurants, then apprenticed himself to sausage makers who, like he, experienced their work as pork art and a form of living history. “I am all about heritage, tradition; I go back into time rather than forward to learn,” he says. “I butcher every ounce that I use. It is my responsibility. I hand tie my sausages with hemp in the old Italian way; it grips the casing better. I mix my meats with my hands in order to put a little touch of myself with it, so that people taste the human touch, not some cold, stainless steel machine.” Michael has worked in the kitchens at Blackberry Farm since 2004, and specifically with our meat curing program since 2007.