“Would you like to come over for some homemade duck prosciutto?” That’s the question you’ll get to ask your friends after you take Camas Davis’s workshop, Butchery Demystified.
Davis founded Portland Meat Collective, an organization that believes that “All animals raised for meat should be raised humanely and treated with respect from the beginning to the end of their lives. We also believe that if an animal is going to be raised for meat that we—as consumers—should know how to utilize every part of it.”
In this workshop, Davis will provide a glimpse into whole animal butchery and charcuterie with delicious hands-on demo. She will demonstrate how to break down a whole duck, and each student will learn how to trim and cure a duck breast to take home.
We spoke with Camas Davis about her work, Portland, and what’s inspiring her these days.
WeMake: Why is Portland the right place for what you’re doing?
Camas Davis: We’re very forward thinking. The notion of knowing where your food comes from hit Portland way before it hit other places. We’re also really close to the farms so it’s part of our reality. And because of Portland’s progressive ordinances. we can have chickens and goats in our yards. The next level is, “What can I do with the bird when it doesn’t lay eggs?”
WeMake: What’s inspiring you right now?
Camas Davis: Summer. People here are so friendly and curious and we talk to each other.
Also, all of the anniversary coverage of the march on Washington. I cry when I hear Martin Luther King, Jr. speak. It reminds me that we have to question the systems that prevent us from learning.
WeMake: What’s interesting to you in the Portland food scene right now?
How many people with very little resources are managing to succeed. For example, Kristen Murray, who’s opening a pastry luncheonette near Powell’s downtown—just raised money using Kickstarter. Also, Eric Bechard’s of Kingdom of Roosevelt. He’s working with all these small local farms and he does the butchery himself. He has a way of approaching food that’s sustainable.
WeMake: And finally, the most important question of the day: If you had a sandwich named after you, what would be in it?
Camas Davis: Open-faced so it wouldn’t hide behind the bread. It would have incredibly dense rye bread. Smørbrød, Scandinavian style. And then, ham made or lox made by me, a little mustard, fresh herbs and some duck fat spread on the bread.
Visit http://www.pdxmeat.com for more information about Portland Meat Collective.