Who teaches the PMC classes?
All of our classes are taught by experienced butchers, chefs, and other meat artisans from Eugene and beyond. Some are self-taught, while others studied at culinary schools, taught for decades at agricultural schools, or learned from knowledgeable mentors. Each instructor will have a slightly different regional style, be it American, French, Italian, Japanese, or a unique amalgamation of influences. One of the EMC’s many strengths is that with each teacher students study under, they gain a new perspective on the animal in front of them.
How are the classes structured?
The classes are all hands-on unless otherwise noted. Typically, in a four-hour butchery class the instructor gives an hour-long demo to no more than 12 students. Then the group is split up into two, with each group in charge of breaking down their own half or whole animal. Instructors guide each group through the process, but largely puts the onus on the students to do all the cutting. The last hour of the class is typically spent eating charcuterie and discussing what students just learned. These conversations often lead to fascinating debates on how to source meat from local farmers, or the truth behind slaughterhouses, or the consequences of factory farming, and the ethics of carnivorism.
Do I have to kill animals during the class?
“Slaughter” refers to the harvesting (i.e. killing) of animals for consumption. “Butchery” refers to the act of processing the meat once the animal has been slaughtered. In other words, when you are butchering an animal you are parsing out the pork chops from the hams and the belly from the shoulder roasts. We do offer some classes that teach students how to slaughter and butcher an animal. If a class involves slaughtering animals we will indicate that in the class title, as in “Rabbit Slaughter & Butchery.” If a class just teaches students how to butcher an animal this will also be indicated in the title, as in “Basic Pig Butchery for Home Charcuterie.”
What happens to all the meat that is used in class?
All the meat that is used for the class goes home with the students. The students own the meat and process it themselves, thus acting as their own meat processor or butcher shop. Depending on the size and number of animals, and the size of the class, the students can go home with anywhere from 10-15 pounds of meat (in the case of a small lamb class) to 20-30 pounds of meat (in the case of a small pork class) or even a bit more (in the case of a small beef class).
Where do the classes take place?
Until the EMC finds the perfect spot to call its permanent home, we are and always have been a traveling butchery school. Our goal is to prove that butchery can happen just about anywhere with the right tools and temperatures. We most often teach classes in commercial kitchens around Eugene, and we certainly have a few favorite, regular spaces we work out of, but we have also taught classes at wineries, restaurants, and farms. once you sign up for a class we let you know where it will be held. Almost always the classes are held in a central Eugene location.
How exactly does the purchasing of meat for classes work?
Students in each class are purchasing live animals from small farmers (with the help of the EMC, who acts as a liaison between the farmers and the students). Because the students are the owners of the live animals, and they will only be using the meat from the live animals for their own personal consumption (and not reselling it to other consumers), the owners of those live animals have the right to process it themselves. Or, in the case of the EMC, students have the right to hire the EMC to show them how to process the meat themselves. The EMC essentially acts as a private instructor to private citizens; we are neither a meat processor nor a meat packager.
What if I don’t want to take home meat?
We typically reserve two spots in each class for people who just want to pay for instruction but do not want to take home meat. The cost for instruction is $150.
Are the classes that you have currently scheduled the only types of classes you offer?
Right now we plan to offer Basic Pig Butchery, Basic Lamb Butchery, Basic Sausage Making and Basic Chicken Butchery & Cookery, but we plan to offer many more classes that could include, Basic Rabbit Butchery & Charcuterie, Basic Fish Butchery & Cookery, Basic Duck Butchery, Intermediate Sausage Making, Basic Beef Butchery, Introduction to Meat Cooking, Chicken Slaughter, Rabbit Slaughter, Slim Janes and Jerky, multi-day Italian and French Butchery series with guest instructors, Hunting Workshops, Venison Butchery, Basic Pate Making, Full-Day Whole Hog Butchery and Charcuterie, Intermediate Ham Class, and more.
Do you offer private classes?
Yes. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I like what I hear. How do I sign up?
Click on the class you are interested in and you will find, price, location, time, date, and class description, along with a link to register. Click on that link, pull out your credit card and pay using Paypal (you don’t need a Paypal account to do so). Once you pay, you are registered and your spot is reserved.
Why do I have to prepay for the class?
We must commit to buying the animals from farmers about a week before, if not weeks before, a class takes place. We do not want to purchase a pig, or several pigs depending on the class size, without knowing that there are students who will pay for it. This way we can ensure that the farmer will be paid when we request the animals for the classes. Since it’s technically the students who are purchasing the animals directly from the farmer, the students have to be able to pool their money ahead of time in order to do so.
What if I can’t make the class? What is your refund policy?
Our classes greatly depend on enough students pooling their money together to purchase the animals needed for the class. While we do the purchasing for you, you pay for the purchase. And we have to order the animals ahead of time. If everyone dropped out of the class at the last minute, you are still technically the owners of those animals. Since we are a traveling butchery school, we’ve nowhere to put the animals for safekeeping. For this reason we must have a refund policy that covers the cost of the animals no matter if a student can make it or not. If you wish to still get your share of meat, even though you can’t make the class, we can arrange for that. Our policy is as follows:
If students cancel 7 or more days before the class date: 100% will be refunded.
If students cancel 3 to 6 days before the class date: 50% will be refunded.
If students cancel with less than 2 day’s notice before the class date: 0% will be refunded.