Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co.
Mike Phillips is a patient man. A longtime chef, he gained national recognition for his charcuterie program while at The Craftsman in Longfellow. When he decided in 2010 to dedicate his life to creating charcuterie, salami, and cured meats for everyone, he had no idea it would take this long. Enter the USDA and all their rules and regulations, which neither favor age-old artisanal curing processes nor work at a speedy rate. Anyhow, Phillips’s venture, Red Table Meat Co., is finally beginning to churn out product from the Northeast shop where legs of pork and long logs of salami swing in the very controlled rooms.
At select stores like Seward Co-op and the France 44 shops, you’ll find a few stars to make your holiday meat and cheese boards really stand out: Lonza is a delicately dry-cured pork loin that is softer and sweeter than prosciutto, Pork Queen is a black pepper and garlic salami that will kill with sharp cheese, and Coppa is dry-cured pork shoulder, which is almost beefy in flavor with a bit of spice. As the curing process continues, more meat will be released to the public. Take a page out of Phillips’s book and be patient: Good meat comes to those who wait.