Mad River Taste Place in Waitsfield has been a foodie lover’s paradise since it opened in 2017. Stocking some of Vermont’s finest treats, he’s one of the best cheese counters in the state.
But on November 30th, the fifth quarter butcher was added.
Starting in Q5 2021, Josh Turka, 36, made an all-animal charcuterie at Babette’s Table, a Waitsfield facility owned by Erika Lynch. He soon said he met “local hoodies in his scene”, including Taste He Place founder and owner Robin Morris and general manager Mary Tachil. The latter was looking for Summer’s help and offered him a job.
Turka started working behind the cheese counter at Taste Place and soon had 5th Quarter pork rillettes, jambon blanc and various patties on the shelves.
“[The Taste Place] “Being here is a huge step forward for me,” Turka said.
Tuthill knew that Turka’s ultimate goal was a full-service butcher shop. While they worked and talked, the pair worked out plans for an underused classroom space in the back corner of the store.
“Josh was looking for a place to set it up, but it seemed silly to put him anywhere else in town,” Tachir said. We share the same vision in terms of providing the best for the world.”
In its 600-square-foot back corner is a walk-in cooler full of dry-aged beef. Working space for butchering cattle, pigs and lambs. and refrigerated display cases. It’s packed with everything from T-bone steak to bones in broth, to a variety of specialty sausages like chorizo his verde and classic Italian-style fennel.
Turka began exploring whole butchers in Boston six years ago, butchering fish as sous chef at Barbara Lynch’s B&G Oysters. After that, she learned how to make cured ham, pâté and other types of charcuterie at Salty She Pig.
“Fast forward, I was about to walk out of the restaurant,” Turka said. “I was fed up with that lifestyle.” He started working at MF Dulock, a butcher in Somerville, Massachusetts, that specializes in local, pasture-raised meat.
Two years ago, Turka and his wife moved to Vermont. “Even in Boston, a lot of the quality meat comes from Vermont. It’s been a no-brainer in that sense,” he said.
The fifth quarter is now being sourced entirely from small Vermont farms that “raise animals right” including Von Trapp Farmstead, Nob Hill Farms and Boborink Farms.
Turka takes its name from quinto quarto, a viscera-heavy dish that he encountered while living in Rome in his twenties. Traditionally, he explained, animals were divided into quarters when slaughtered. The ranks got the leftovers that no one else wanted: the “fifth quarter.”
At his shop, Turka emphasizes lesser-known cuts and encourages customers to be flexible and use all parts of the animal. increase. He only eats 2 pounds of hanger steak for 800 pounds of beef, so you might point to his beautifully marbled Denver steak instead.
“I love hanger steak. But by offering an alternative, he said, “it reminds people what animals really are and where the meat comes from.”