It all started in 2010 when James Peisker moved to Nashville and started cooking in one of Nashville’s favorite downtown kitchens, where he met his soon-to-be business partner, Chris Carter. It wasn’t long before the two decided to jump ship and start their own business, Local Eateries, LLC, a small catering company utilizing local products.
Chris and James quickly realized that while Nashville has a plethora of local quality fare, there was a lack of access to good, local meat. Porter Road Butcher opened in late 2011. However, owning a butcher shop just wasn’t enough. Between the farmers and shop, there was a missing link: a trustworthy processing facility. Porter Road Butcher Meat Company, the processing and wholesale branch of the business was opened in early 2014.
James Peisker initially embarked on his culinary career when he was just 14 years old, working as a busboy in the diner that sat just across the street from his St. Louis home. After working his way up to a server, James was eager to continue his culinary education, so after graduating from high school, he spent time working in the kitchen at The Gatesway Home where the chefs taught him the foundations of his culinary knowledge. He competed with the American Culinary Federation State Junior Team during the short time he spent at Forest Park Community College, an experience which eventually inspired him to attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Immediately after graduating, he spent two weeks studying at the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine in China, and soon made his way back to St. Louis where he took charge of the city’s culinary scene.
James became the roundsman at Old Warson Country Club and later became the sous chef at Niche, where he took charge of the restaurant’s whole animal butchering and really found a passion for the craft. He ultimately did a stage at The Butcher and Larder in Chicago and now teaches our Porter Road Butchers everything he knows.
On the off chance that James isn’t working at the butcher shop, he can be found reading informational books about food, drinking plenty of whiskey, cooking elaborate meals for his wife, or pretending he is a teapot.
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Nickname: The Wildcard
Chris Carter, a Nashville native who was born and raised in Hendersonville, made his entrée into the restaurant industry when he was in high school working as a busboy. After graduating from Hendersonville High, he attended the University of Memphis where he graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management. Throughout his time in college Chris did promotions for a local radio station and additionally worked in restaurants both as a bartender and a server before leaving Memphis in pursuit of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona.
While studying the culinary arts, Chris elected to continue his undergraduate education, majoring in Culinary Management. During school he took his first kitchen job as the sous chef at Dragon Fly Café, but switched gears a year and a half later, working in both Atlas Bistro and Twisted Rose Winery and Eatery, further opening his eyes to the culinary arts.
It was after culinary school however, working at Flemings Steakhouse, where Chris really mastered the art of grilling meats and came to understand and appreciate high quality meat. In 2009 he moved back to Nashville and took a job at the Capital Grille where he met James and jump-started their business partnership.
While not driving all over the region to pick up animals or serving our customers in the shop, Chris enjoys going to a good concert, drinking a few cold beers while fishing, roaming the aisles of Bass Pro Shop out at Opry Mills and occasionally finds his center in a sweaty hot yoga class—you ought to see this guy’s headstand.
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Title: General Manager
Kyle Colvard comes to Nashville by way of Birmingham, AL, by way of Charleston, SC…by way of Nashville…by way of Birmingham. Got that? An Alabama native, Kyle naturally attended the University of Alabama (Roll Tide) but his trajectory after that wasn’t quite as clear-cut. Graduating with a degree in mathematics, having professional restaurant experience, and also a soon-to-be wife heading beginning pharmaceutical residency, Kyle accompanied his lady to Nashville when she started at Vanderbilt. During that first stint in Nashville he helped to open up the kitchen at The Southern, and soon after went with Michelle to her second city for residency, Charleston, SC. We have to admit- she picked some pretty great towns. Eventually they moved back to BHam, where Kyle worked at James Beard Nominated restaurant Ollie Irene. It was there that he dove into charcuterie and worked more heavily with meat—something he really enjoyed. The transition to PRB was only natural when they moved back to Nashville, and now he’s eager to learn whole animal butchery, advancing his culinary prowess. Outside of all things food, Kyle enjoys seeing live music (picked a good city for that), hiking with his wife and dogs, and still manages to send love to his hometown as he sips on his favorite Good People Brewery brews.
Nickname: Taylor Swift
Taylor Fregoe is a born and bred Nashvillian. She began following PRB when we opened our doors back in 2011, but never did she consider it an option for employment until the beginning of 2015. Following time spent at Nashville State Culinary School, she sought work in her field, but initially had poor luck: she found a job as a cafeteria lady at Stratford High School. After spotting our Facebook post boasting a need for employees, Taylor reached out and that was that. So while she now spends her days surrounded by meat, she livens things up in her free time by wishing she were a Nashville Rollergirl, hitting the lake to do some wakeboarding, teaching magic tricks to her dog Houdini, and riding motorcycles with her parents.
Nickname: Sam G.
Sam is not a vegetarian. (She doesn’t like labels.) She just doesn’t eat meat. And she hasn’t for 16 years now. Although her aversion to meat began before she got her masters degree in Food Studies at Chatham University (Pittsburgh), learning about the commercial meat industry during her studies didn’t exactly change her mind. Upon moving to Nashville at the end of July with her girlfriend, who is studying Midwifery at Vanderbilt, she knew she wanted to find a job at a place where responsibility was a key factor behind the business. See, Food Studies focuses on things like urban agriculture, food access, responsible farming, and food deserts, for example. You see why Porter Road Butcher stood out? Even though she doesn’t eat meat, Sam understands the value of our product here at PRB and has always had an interest in butchering, and now grinding: “I would say that the grinder is my favorite appliance in the shop.” Aside from grinding, Sam enjoys painting portraits of her cat Gus, eating pizza and drinking bourbon, and being outside. And snow sports. Tough break on that last one, Sam…
Title: Counter Clerk and Sausage-Maker Extraordinaire
Knoxville native Bill joined us on the East Side as a counter clerk and sausage maker in March. No, unfortunately he’s not Tuna’s cousin, despite the rumors. His eclectic background and alarmingly cheery disposition make him a great fir for the East Side Crew. Though he’s currently killing it as a drummer, and had a stint as a boxer, Bill wasn’t always so good at life. To celebrate his first birthday, he ate a lightbulb. Hopefully, he’s outgrown his taste for glass and will be part of the Porter Road Butcher crew for a long time to come.
Hailing from Lafayette, Indiana, Tim George has a first-name, last-name. He got his first meaty job in Bloomington, IN as a grocery store meat clerk and his hunger for meat hasn’t wavered since. Although he wasn’t practicing whole animal butchery initially, he found that he liked cutting meat and continued to do so when he moved to Nashville in 2011 in pursuit of a music career—call him “The Singing Butcher.” It was then that he began working as a meat-cutter at Nashville’s Turnip Truck. He soon decided to take butchering to a higher level and moved to Porter Road. You might have guessed that this Stetson-clad stud is a part of Music City’s music scene, but little did you know your bespectacled butcher also stores a lot of knowledge up in that noggin: Tim enjoys filling his brain with the literary genius of Hemingway and Paulson, as well as non-fiction reads. No wonder he’s been wearing those intellectualizing Ray Bans for 6 years now…
Title: Dishwasher / Meat cutter
Gernaro. Pronounced /hare-NAHR-oh/. Not, however /hah-bah-NARE-oh/, like some folks seem to think. Though originally from Choloma Cortes, the third largest city in Honduras, Gernaro has been in the U.S. for over seven years now. He initially found work as an electrician and a house painter, but in 2008 landed his first restaurant job as the dishwasher at West End Ave’s beloved Rumba. For four years he worked both there and at Jackson’s and soon moved from solely dishwashing to cleaning, trimming, and dicing meat for dinner service. He came to PRB looking to work as a dishwasher, but when he began flexing his cutting and trimming muscles, he was put to work in the cutting room as well. While he’s not working either at PRB or finding odd jobs to earn some extra cash, Gernaro enjoys fishing, shopping with his wife and two children, and eating at his favorite restaurants, namely Burger King or Taco Bell. And of course amigo loves him some Patrón to wind down after a long day’s work. Chin chin!
Title: Counter Clerk
We have had some chipper employees in the past, but April might just take the cake for the happiest and most upbeat employee to date. April’s passion lies in politics. She has worked on campaigns and is active in local political organizations. In addition to working for the census, April helped man the polls in the 2016 presidential election. When she’s not elbows deep in meat, or working to save the world, April spends time with her two adorable cats, her equally adorable husband, and can be seen at shows all over town.
Title: Marketing, Social Media, Cheesemonger
Kat joined the Porter Road Butcher team in early 2016. Thanks to her eclectic backgrounds in marketing, and also as a Cheesemonger, Kat wears many hats around the shop. If it doesn’t directly involve cutting meat, chances are that she has something to do with it, whether it be finding new products for our market or keeping Chris and James in line at events. If you follow our Instagram (@prbutcher) or get our newsletter, you already know Kat better than you might realize.
Title: Counter Clerk
Originally from Montgomery, Alabama, Christy made the move to Nashville for school and has stuck around since: she studied her way through undergraduate, nursing, and then graduate school at Vanderbilt, where she now works as a nurse practitioner. Even though she began working over at our East shop, Christy first got a taste of Porter Road Butcher in her Sylvan Park neighborhood and has switched locations, giving the East Side “the hand” and giving herself a shorter drive to work. “I felt like I had a lot of free time only working 2-3 days in the hospital,” she said, “I wanted to get another job that would be fun and light hearted—something that didn’t have peoples’ lives on the line.” And here she is. While Christy isn’t working 16-hour shifts saving lives, helping customers at the shop, or cooking something scrumptious at home, she enjoys both staying in to snuggle with her dog Lila and exploring everything she can, from the Nashville Indie music scene all the way to the Baltic Sea in the Nordic lands of Europe. La ti da.