It all started when…
In 2010 James Peisker moved to Music City, Tennessee to cook in one of Nashville’s favorite downtown kitchens, where he met his soon-to-be business partner Chris Carter. After a short period of time spent together in the kitchen, Chris and James decided to jump ship and start their own business as caterers, forming Local Eateries, LLC.
Flash forward to 2011. Chris and James are killin the Nashville catering scene, but quite quickly they realize that although Nashville can provide a multitude of quality local fare like produce and dairy, there’s one arena in which Music City lacks: good, local meat.
It was after an evening spent sipping on whiskey and ruminating over Nashville’s need for good local meat, that Chris and James made the decision to open our city’s first ever whole animal butchery in East Nashville. That was in 2011. Since then, the PRB Boys have opened up a second shop in west Nashville, and continually look for ways to expand their business further.
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: Butcher (East)
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: General Manager and Head Butcher (East)
Stuart is a native Nashvillian who was born and raised in this Batman-building-clad city. Fortunately for him (and us), his position at Porter Road more or less fell into his lap when he took a friend’s job as our dishwasher back in early 2013. Although dishwashing was exhilarating and fulfilling work for Stuart, he soon moved on to greener pastures and claimed the title of Sausage Maker as his own. Today he has worked his way even further up the food chain: he helps cut meat, oversees general operations, and helps manage our East Nashville shop. Though his brain is still chock-full of information about all of Porter Road’s “snausages” Stuart has also made a little room up in his noggin for info regarding to pretty much everything else we do here. If he’s not listening to some techno beats while breaking down animals or making amusing and witty remarks, Stuart enjoys drawing detailed portraits, playing video games and drinking Bud Heavy and cheap bourbon. Deeeelicious.
Title: Dishwasher / Meat cutter (West)
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: Head Butcher & Manager (West)
When the calendar struck July in 2014 Wesley Adams packed his bags and left his long-time Louisiana life for a brand new one here in Nashville. A Shreveport native, Wes worked for four years as a butcher and manager of Maxwell’s Market in his hometown, but found himself constantly hunting for a job someplace new. Long ago in 2012 he sent a job inquiry e-mail to Chris and James, which very unsurprisingly, was left unanswered (that’s a jab at Chris and James’ lackluster emailing skills; not at Wesley’s lackluster e-mail). But two years later, in the wake of an evening with Basil Hayden, Wesley found the courage to reach out again with a message entitled, “Meat Me.” That did the trick. During his visit in May (job research he dubbed “meatsearch”—kid really loves a play-on-words) he was impressed and excited by the prospect of whole-animal butchering in Music City so he quit his job and made the move a month later. While not slicing and dicing, Wesley enjoys eating every hamburger he can get his hands on (he’s seeking Nashville’s best), going hunting, and mountain biking. Burgers, hunting, mountain biking, and meat. Talk about a dude.
Title: Counter Clerk (West)
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.
Title: Butcher (West)
Before actually working at the butcher shop, Patrick and his wife Emma were recognized by our staff as friendly shoppers who occasionally stopped in to buy meat. One Friday afternoon however, Patrick inquired about available positions at almost the exact moment we began looking for a new lunch chef. Because he used to play basketball at Duke, we immediately hired him. His background in meat and formal culinary training certainly didn’t hurt his case either. Following graduation from Duke in 2009, Patrick and Emma moved to Boulder, where she attended law school and he worked in the meat department at Whole Foods. Eventually Patrick sought change and enrolled in culinary school at Johnson & Whales. After fulfilling a 6-month internship requirement at Left Bank in NYC, he wanted to return to his southern roots (Patrick is from Melbourne, AR) and began researching cities. Nashville seemed like a cool spot, so they packed up in May of 2014 and have been here since. Today however, Patrick’s clout has grown: he cuts meat, helps customers, works lunch, and can make a mean biscuit. If he isn’t doing any of that though, he likes hiking with his dogs Duke and Calamity Jane, fly-fishing, and drinking sour beers while supporting the STL Cardinals.
Nickname: Taylor Swift
Title: Counter Clerk (East)
Taylor Fregoe is a real born and bred East Nashvillian who grew up in this neighborhood: she was educated at both East Middle School and East High School, is known to hit up the 5 Spot on a Saturday night, and now works for us at Porter Road Butcher East…all of which leads us to believe she pretty much never crosses the river. Having gone to school just across the street from our shop, Taylor 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. So maybe she occasionally crosses the river after all…
Nickname: Tim’s Twin
Title: Counter Clerk (East)
Just like his manager and doppelgänger Tim, Joseph is a spectacle wearing, Hemingway reading, food loving musician who came to Nashville in search of a fresh beginning. (Yes, Joseph and Tim have all of those things in common). After growing up and attending college in Martin, TN just two hours away from Nashville, Joseph found himself in a job that he didn’t like in a town he knew too well. So, armed with his degree in Geo Science and abundance of couch-surfing opportunities, he decided to move to Nashville. A lover of food and eating, Joseph familiarized himself with Nashville’s food scene prior to making the move; while searching the interwebs he happened upon our website and before he knew it, he had a job and was packing up his car, bound for Nashville. Though he didn’t know too much about PRB having never before been to our shop, he was impressed by what he read online and after one day of testing the waters, he chose to stay. Outside of reading impressive literature and playing southern, bluesy rock and roll, Joseph enjoys a good old-fashioned Netflix binge and occasionally tries his luck at scuba diving.
Unlike any other PRB employee, Walter started his career here as a mega-fan. But before his fanaticism began however, Walter first met James out and about in St. Louis while in school at SLU and later reconnected in Nashville “most likely while drinking too much whiskey at 308.” Although he lived in Sylvan Park, Walter and his mom were loyal visitors to the East Nashville shop until eventually their unknown dreams came true: PRB opened shop #2 in West Nashville. Immediately Walter ignited a steady lunch schedule that necessitated one of our nap-inducing sandwiches twice a week, minimum. When PRBMC opened early in 2015, Chris and James approached Walter to bring him on board as the wholesale guy; a friend to the shop plus someone with plenty of street-cred and Nashville know-how, the fit was a no-brainer. Walter is a renaissance man of sorts so while he’s not shuttling meat all over Nashville, he is a defensive whiz on the lacrosse field, a procurer of tickets to the best musical events, and is the father to a sickeningly adorable English bulldog named Henry. Outside of his many jobs however, Walter can be found thinking about dat beach bod, but also thinking about dem tacos.
Title: Dishwasher (East)
Daniell—for the record, this is not like the female name Danielle; it’s pronounced “duh-nell”—is what we like to call a hard worker. He’s a man who awakes almost every morning at 3:30 before the birds are chirping, moving from one place of employment to the next, working until the sun has set and it’s past his dinner time. It was because of his early-morning gig delivering bread for Provence, that we were introduced to Daniell and were then able to snag him as one of our own, part-time. Although the 9-hour shift of 4am–1pm would likely be sufficient for any other human that needs REM cycle sleep, Daniell’s motto is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” so he asked about working in the afternoons at PRB East. Grateful for more hands in the kitchen, Daniell was given the job of dishwasher, as well as the un-official job of garden-waterer, when the weather is nice. And here he is! On the off chance that Daniell has the day off, he enjoys watching Frozen with his daughter who actually is named Danielle, or cheering for his favorite teams: the Tennessee Titans and the Houston Rockets. And unless he’s playing tea party with Danielle, Daniell is known to sip on Strawberitas or Ciroc pineapple when he’s thirsty.
Title: Lunch Chef (West)
Although Sam is a Baltimore native, he made his way to Nashville via the great and snowy Boston, MA where the numbing 2014 winter and his mind-numbing job as an insurance claims agent left his brain as fried as Nashville Hot Chicken. Which got him thinking… When the ice finally melted and he could get his car out of the garage, Sam and his roommate Aaron packed their things and headed south to Aaron’s hometown of Nashville, TN. And although Sam’s degrees in both French and business from Gettysburg College should have set him up for all sorts of white-collar success in booming Nashville, Sam had other ideas. Ever since he was a little kid, he’s loved being in the kitchen surrounded by good smells and good people, so it was only natural that he sought out a position in the culinary field. His roommate’s mother urged him to look into work at PRB, and it just so happened that we needed his help. Sam also works as the garde manger at French restaurant Miel, where he can put his French-speaking skills to use and also daydreams about his semester spent abroad in Paris. On the off chance that Sam does have a day off, he enjoys wandering the city’s farmers markets, going for a run, drinking stout beers, and listening to music of any kind.
Title: Butcher (West)
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: Danger Aaron
Title: Counter Clerk (East)
Aaron Lain is a lifelong learner who is always hungry to master a new skill or absorb unknown information. Although he has minimal experience with whole animal butchering, he does have culinary background including catering, cafeteria management, and even setting up and serving high tea—it’s quite the spectrum, isn’t it? Now he wants to add whole animal butchering to that repertoire. You’ve got to admit, it makes sense that a writer would enjoy learning a wide variety of skills: it gives him more material to incorporate into his work. Right? If you didn’t quite catch that, Aaron is a writer. A real-yet-surreal fiction writer, matter of fact. He calls it “dreamlike.” Before he comes to work in the morning Aaron edits his writing and when he gets home from work in the evening, Aaron writes some more. Then he goes to bed and dreams some dreams and tries to do it again the next day. But that’s not all Aaron’s about. Outside of writing and cutting meat, he is “a legend” singing karaoke over at Santa’s Pub and enjoys sipping on Kurs Banquet a la Mickey’s Tavern. Enjoy the fruits of his talents at mysteriummagnum.com or keep your ears out for some killer covers of Creed and 3 Doors Down the next time you’re in the holiday spirit.
Nickname: The Biscuit Lady
Title: Pastry chef (West)
Judging by her exemplary skills, you might not guess that Betsy got into the baking game on the late side, but the good news is that doing so was a fantastic move. Betsy was a military kid who moved around a lot during her younger years, so after graduating from North Texas State University she decided to settle in the Lone Star State for a while. She worked as a buyer at Whole Foods and eventually moved into the kitchen there as well as others around Dallas. Quickly she reconnected with her love for cooking and more importantly, baking, and as they say, “the rest is history.” Like most Nashville transplants, music was the draw that brought her to Nashville but the numerous baking opportunities here were what kept her around. Betsy has worked in the kitchens of Sasso, Provence, Café Margot, Marché, and Adele’s to name a few, and now we feel so lucky to have her here at PRB! Betsy spends the wee hours of the mornings making biscuits and pop tarts at the west shop, and likes to spend her free time playing tennis, going running at Shelby Bottoms, and traveling. Although she says she tries to stray away from eating the things that she bakes to keep her girlish figure, she’ll stray off the straight and narrow for a really good gin and tonic. That’s a pretty good trade.
Nickname: Sam G.
Title: Counter Clerk (West)
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…