Cole & Abell

If you often purchase your meat at the hand of a beautiful Porter Road butcher instead of simply picking up a cling-wrapped Styrofoam tray from Kroger, you might feel as if you’ve more or less gotten to know the people who work for us. If you’ve checked out our website of late, you might have noticed the updated and expanded biographies of the outstanding folks who make up our one-of-a-kind PRB crew, and you might feel as if you could strike up a conversation with one—or all—of them while paying for that pound of andouille.

On the other hand however, there might be one face, one guy, one seemingly quiet John Deer-clad young lad whom you’ve seen prowling both the east and west shop, but whom you didn’t know much about. That’d be Cole.

Cole Abell definitely learned the Ropes from Porter Road ButcherOriginally from Lebanon, Connecticut, Cole Abell grew up on his family’s dairy farm and during his teenage years found work in the meat department of a grocery store. After graduating from high school last June, 18-year old Cole was uncertain about what would come next. He enjoyed his job at the grocery working with meat but both he and his mother knew that there was something else that he could and should be doing. So mom Kim set to the Internet, and after a little bit of research stumbled upon Porter Road Butcher all the way down in Nashville, Tennessee. “Wanna move to Tennessee?” she asked him.

Before he knew it, Cole had packed up his forest green Jeep Cherokee and was steering himself south, Nashville bound and eager to begin his six-month stage, or internship, at Porter Road Butcher.

Cole comes from a long lineage of farmers and cow lovers, so his interest in butchering is a no-brainer. His mother, father, and stepdad all spent their adolescence growing up on farms and his grandfather had one of the biggest dairy farms in Lebanon back in the day, laying claim to over 300 cows. With such a rich farming background Cole is familiar with caring for pigs and cows, but throughout his time in Nashville he’s been spending the past few months really getting into the meat of the animals (har har har).

His favorite thing to do in the shop is cut up chucks (that’s the front shoulder of a cow) but as owner Chris said, “he’s learned everything. I mean, everything.” Cole was educated on the arts of making sausages, smoking meats, grinding beef, plus other vital butchering skills, and he now knows how to break down whole pigs, cows, and chickens. But most important of all, Cole learned who Bob Dylan is, thanks to his pals at Porter Road. Isn’t it amazing what you can learn at a butcher shop?

Although he hails from the northeastern parts of the country, Cole is really a country boy at heart. While not helping his mom with their M&K Dairy Farm, he finds himself street racing with his friends, going muddin’ in those giant-tired trucks, and taking selfies with his closest friends; he almost exclusively wears John Deere apparel, covering his torso with brown and green sweatshirts, and keeps his noggin warm with a JD cap; and once upon a time, Cole had a pet pig named Charlotte who went everywhere with him, even accompanying him to McDonalds for a casual lunch outing.

Cole and his pal Russo, getting cherrywood ready for the smoker

Cole and his pal Russo, getting cherrywood ready for the smoker

Here in Nashville, he’s stayed true to his country ways: he enjoys filling his ears with some of Music City’s best tunes over at the Exit Inn, he spends his free time hunting and fishing with Matt Russo, and he cooks Hamburger Helper for himself for dinner—using PRB ground beef, of course…talk about an oxymoron—when Russo can’t help a brother out with some real life food.

Staring down his final month as our butcher shop intern, Cole says leaving Nashville will be bittersweet: “It’ll suck to say goodbye to all of my new friends here and it will be weird to return to Lebanon since Nashville is a much bigger city than where I’m from. But I am looking forward to hanging out with my old friends back home and seeing my brother and sister again.” Ain’t that sweet!

We’re going to miss Cole’ dry sense of humor, hard work ethic, and general friendly way of being, but we’re also happy that he’ll [hopefully] start eating real food again when he goes back home…instead of the Hamburger Helper and canned chili with which he chooses to nourish his body.

If you haven’t gotten to know Cole yet—don’t delay! His days in Nashville are numbered and you don’t wanna miss out on the opportunity to chat with this country Connecticut boy before he heads back to the homeland.

James Peisker to Speak at the American Culinary Federation Regional Conference

Have you ever heard of the American Culinary Federation? Like, the culinary federation of America. Not of Tennessee; not of Nashville. America.

Well, James Peisker is a member of the American Culinary Federation. In fact, he’s been a member since he was just 17 years old. And apparently the ACF really appreciates his loyalty.

If you haven’t heard of it, the American Culinary Federation is an organization that has been the authority on cooking in America since 1929. Comprised of the nation’s premier chefs, and stretching to include over 20,000 members and 200 chapters, the ACF is a pretty big deal within the culinary community. The mission of ACF is to continue to educate their chefs and members, keeping them on the cutting edge of the culinary scene via certifications and publications, and through holding seminars, conferences, and other educational culinary events. They want to support their members in both their education and their accomplishments. Talk about awesome.

James Peisker of Porter Road Butcher is the King of our Hearts So we were pretty psyched to find out that the American Culinary Federation—again, that’s the authority on cooking; the premier professional organization for chefs; an organization focused on promoting the professional image of American chefs worldwide—invited our own James Peisker to be a headlining speaker at their 2014 Regional Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri.

A St. Louis native and a lover of the culinary scene where his career took flight, James was more than happy to accept their invitation and will be traveling to his hometown for the weekend in order to share his knowledge of whole animal butchery and flex his culinary muscles for the region to see.

On Monday the 17th from 2:15 to 3:15 he will lead a session about whole animal butchery and charcuterie, and will then likely spend the rest of his time in STL sniffing out where to find the best bourbon…and also maybe learning a little somethin-somethin, networking in the culinary community, and eating a bite of some delicious cuisine here and there.

So let’s go ahead and give a big ole “hurrah!” for that.

We Porter Road folk are incredibly proud of James, and his opportunity to share his knowledge and skills in such a widely revered and respected arena. Of course, our hearts will be weeping while he is away from us, but wish him the best of luck—even though, let’s be real: this guy loves to talk in front of a crowd; he’s gonna kill it.

Butcher Demo with James Peisker

Sure, you’ve come in to visit the shop; you’ve perused the meat that resides in the case; you’ve tried to peak at the studs hacking away in the back; and you’ve probably drooled down your chin as one of our guys to cut you an extra thick filet off that big ole tenderloin.

Porter Road Butcher's James Peisker stops to explain during his Butcher DemoBut did you ever find yourself wondering about the mechanics of what it is these guys really do? Ever wonder exactly where on the pig the loin really resides? Ever thought to yourself, “Man, this PRB sausage is delicious…I wonder what they actually put into it to make my Wednesday morning breakfast so mouthwatering and titillating?”

Now all your questions can be answered.

On Sunday March 9th, PRB’s very own James Peisker is holding an exclusive Butchering Demo for a group of just 10 lucky pig-lovers.

The Butcher Demo, which will be held at our Charlotte Avenue shop, begins at 12 pm and will end at approximately 3:00–leaving you plenty of time to go home and get your grill on afterwards. James, who has been working in the food industry since his early adolescence and butchering since the age of 18, will start off by sharing a little about his experience with the restaurant biz, and then move on to processing a pig right before your eyes: butchering the animal, breaking it down into various parts and cuts, making fresh and delicious sausage, explaining the process of makin’ bacon, and then sending you home with goodies to cook! And a T-Shirt. Don’t forget the t-shirt.

If you’re the type that likes pigging out on a Sunday afternoon, Sunday March 9th is gonna be just the ticket. And then some. This demo puts “pigging out” into a whole new arena.

Tickets are $200 a person. Guests may sign up for the event at either our west or east shops, but the ticket amount must be paid in full in order to hold a spot.

With only 10 spots available, tickets will go fast; so sign up today!

Half a pig is ready to be processed at Porter Road Butcher

This big piggy is gonna go wee wee wee all the way to your home.