Before getting any further into Karen Brooks Appreciation Day, so-named in dubious honor of the Czar of Scoopzenistan's layoff at the hands of the Oregonian this morning, let's take a spin through some better news. MIX, the magazine until recently helmed by Martha Holmberg (who left of her own accord), runs a charming interview with the charming co-owner Elias Cairo, charcuterie-master at Jason Barwikowski and Nate Tilden's eastside industrial district spot Olympic Provisions, which happens to be the first USDA-approved dry cure facility in Oregon. Hits from Teri Gelber's story:
I heard you referred to as “Scientifico Loco” (mad scientist). Fill me in on the loco part: Ahh, that’s Marty (one of our partners) being great. I’m always talking about the structure of animals and meat science.Operatives haven't been in first-hand, but if buzz on the street is any indication (and it is, generally, the only indication), Cairo's doing something right. And so, to paraphrase Tommy Habetz, when life gives you rain, eat chorizo. To which we can only say: Karen, it's a standing invitation.
This is a USDA facility (Oregon’s first), so how does it feel to have Big Brother looking over your shoulder? It puts my mind at ease to know they’re overseeing my work every step of the way. I have to do it their way or I get punished, and they watch everything I do. They’re impressed that it’s a one-man show and that I do the lab work, butchering and forming all myself.
· Meet Elias Cairo, a Real Salami Swami [MIX]
· Olympic Provisions [Official Site]
Image of Elias Cairo courtesy Under the Table with Jen