Brandon Chrostowski wants to be a cut above the rest. This month, he’s scheduled to open Edwins Butcher Shop in the Buckeye neighborhood. It’s a natural next step in a continued effort to empower a community of formerly incarcerated adults and individuals recovering from substance abuse by teaching them how to cook and serve in Chrostowski’s French-inspired restaurants Edwins and Serenite. “Buckeye has been forgotten, and this neighborhood deserves a fresh meat butcher,” he says. Here’s three things to know about Chrostowski’s next endeavour.
Led by head butcher Travis Gunter and up to four Edwins graduates, three to five students are enrolled at a time in a two-week butcher training program to learn how to break down, prepare, smoke and cook a variety of meats acquired from local vendors such as New Creation Farm. “Change is not going to happen unless you make it,” says Chrostowski.
From pork loins and chops, smoked chicken wings and grass-fed beef to racks of lamb and smoked sausages, all manner of meat hits the cutting room table and nothing is wasted. You’ll even find stocks and bones to create homemade soups. “The things you and I would see in a store that are pre-made, we are making them from scratch,” says Chrostowski.
An on-site cafe plans to offer to-go items including deli sandwiches, rotisserie chicken, braised meats, smoked barbecue and Southern-style sides such as collard greens, macaroni and cheese and baked beans. “It’ll be rich,” says Chrostowski. “We take the [meat] drippings and once it’s smoky, we put it in the baked beans.”