Meet the Sustainable Butcher at Slice of Saugatuck Festival

On Saturday, September 17, from noon until 3 pm, over 30 restaurants and retailers in Saugatuck are opening their doors to the public to provide us with a Slice of Saugatuck. Bring the kids and pop in the places that interest you the most for free samples. Check out the festival map to pick your favorite destinations and plan your afternoon.

Ryan Fibiger, left, is a recent graduate of Fleischer's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats' whole animal butchery program and the owner of Saugatuck Craft Butchery.

Among my top picks is Saugatuck Craft Butchery, where founder/owner Ryan Fibiger will be demonstrating how to butcher a pig just in front of his shop (which hasn’t opened yet) at 1:00 pm. Ryan has been holding private butchering demos in Fairfield County as he geared up to open his sustainable butcher shop in Saugatuck Center late this September, but this is the first public demonstration. All their products are expertly hand-butchered and sourced from small family farms in New York and Connecticut that employ sustainable farming practices. Saugatuck Craft Butchery will no doubt become a destination for anyone seeking out the highest quality beef, chicken, pork and lamb, for themselves and their pets. As a nose-to-tail, or whole animal butcher, no part of the animal is wasted, which means lots of premium scraps for fido. To learn more about Ryan and Saugatuck Craft Butchery, read our feature article, The New, Old-Fashioned Butcher.

The Boathouse at Saugatuck can be found inside the Saugatuck Rowing Club and offers beautiful and relaxing views of the Saugatuck River that earned it a “Best View in Connecticut” accolade from Zagat. Chef John Holzwarth is a true farm-to-table chef, giving elegant treatment to seasonal vegetables and artisan food products. Like other fine area restaurants dedicated to serving local and sustainable food, Boathouse serves Westport Aquaculture’s oysters and other seafood. To learn more about the chef and restaurant, read a recent review by Elizabeth Keyser.

Celebrity chef, restauranteur, and author Mario Batali and partners opened Tarry Lodge Enoteca Pizzeria this July after achieving success with their Port Chester location. The restaurant is a “casual reinterpretation of the Tarry Lodge” in Port Chester and sports a wood-fired pizza oven and grill according to partner and general manager Nancy Selzer. Each property in the restaurant group is either already green certified or on target to do so with the help of full-time Green Initiative staff member Elizabeth Meltz. In accordance with the restaurant group’s commitment to source locally as much as possible, Chef Andy Nesser will initially rely on Westchester-based farms that currently supply the Port Chester location, but plans to shop the Westport Farmers’ Market and forge new farm relationships through the CT Dept. of Agriculture’s Farm-to-Chef Program.

Collyer Catering, a regular lunch vendor at the Westport farmers’ market, will be serving samples of a fall soup and guest vendor Planet Fuel will sampling their organic kids’ juices.

Please refer to the festival map for restaurant locations. See you there!

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