As part of the Austin Food Blogger’s Alliance “Meet me at the Market” campaign to help raise awareness for the Sustainable Food Center, and their Capital Campaign, I offered to profile one of my favorite vendors at the SFC Farmer’s Market at Republic Square – Dai Due.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that in 2010, I challenged myself to eat only food grown in my garden, or sourced from local farms and farmer’s markets, for a year, in an effort to avoid eating the products of industrialized agriculture. I still eat that way today, and Dai Due is an important part of my way of life. And, If I ever have a question about a source of food, the practices of a farm or any local food related question, I ask Jesse.
“Dai due regni di natura, piglia il cibo con misura” ~ “From the two kingdoms of nature, choose food with care.” From their website, their name espouses their philosophy. Jesse Griffiths and Tamara Mayfield, the team behind Dai Due, continue to inspire me every day.
Dai Due brings their Butcher Shop offerings to the SFC Farmer’s Market every Saturday, and also prepares hot food to order. Butcher shop items always include a variety of fresh sausages, link and bulk, bacon, frequently hot dogs, burgers made from proteins sourced locally, and raised humanely.
There are also charcuterie items, pates and terrines. This week chicken liver mousse is on the menu. In colder weather, they offer quarts of chile and sometimes gumbo. Many items are only available seasonally, such as Chorizo Verde available during the brief window where peppers (hot season) and cilantro (cool season) are in season together. The Wild Boar Chorizo is a staple at my house. There is always a variety of pickled items and mustards, and when he has homemade Worschestershire sauce, I always get a couple bottles of that.
I’ll be picking up some fresh leaf lard this week, in anticipation of tamale making season. This week, I also ordered a Thanksgiving special, the Porchetta made with Black Hill Ranch hog. I’ve had this fabulous specialty roast before, and was happy to see it return to the menu. Other items this week include Traditional Mincemeat, which they start preparing in May, as the figs and mulberries become available. Fruits continue to be added as they come into season, culminating in a jar of mincemeat which will make one pie. Other seasonal offerings are Pickled Beets, Giardiniera, Escabeche. One of my favorite items, Roasting Hens from Dewberry Hills, this week, laced with Lemon and Sage Butter. If you sign up for their email, the menu comes out on Tuesday, and you can place your order to be picked up at their kitchen on Friday, at the SFC Farmer’s Market, or at the Mueller Market on Sunday.
The weekly menu and item descriptions name the source of everything, and everything is organic and sourced in or near Austin. You may notice of the photos above “Harvested by Hunting.” There is no mystery to any of the food from Dai Due, and very important to me, no hormones or antibiotics in any of the meat they source. I know exactly what is NOT in my food: fillers, chemicals, preservatives, or anything else I don’t want to eat. Often herbs in their offerings are sourced from their own garden.
Hot food at the market this time of year, often features the much coveted Biscuit and Gravy, with Country Style Breakfast Sausage. I am a fan of the Chilaquiles, and whatever breakfast taco is offered; this week will be Red Chile Brisket Taco with Green Onions and Cilantro.
In addition to to the markets, Dai Due also offers hunting weekends, fishing workshops, and a Supper Club, that sells out within minutes of being announced. I’ve nearly wrecked my car trying to pull off of Mopac to reserve a dinner once the schedule is out. Jesse also held a class on canning tomatoes, that launched my canning obsession and totally removed any fears I had.
And if that isn’t enough, Jesse has a new book, with his friend and amazing food photographer, Jody Horton: “Afield, A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish”, which has received great reviews. It is a beautiful book, and everything in it looks delicious. http://www.amazon.com/Afield-Chefs-Guide-Preparing-Cooking/dp/1599621142/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352914542&sr=8-1&keywords=afield
In support of the book Jesse is teaching a free sausage making class at Callahan’s this Saturday, 11/1/12 from 3-5:00, and a cooking class at Central Market this Sunday, at noon. He will be cooking wild game from the book and a book is included in the ticket price. Tickets are still available from Central Market here: http://www.cookingschoolsofamerica.com/centralmarketaustinnorthlamar/index.php?page=classes#1724
This post in written in part to support the Capital Campaign of the Sustainable Food Center, to build a permanent home from which to provide its services. The non-profit SFC helps break down the barriers to healty, nutritiouss food, and supports family farms. The Grow, Share, Prepare program teaches the community about local food, growing food and holds cooking classes, in addition to running their four farmer’s markets; The Republic Square Park and Sunset Valley on Saturday, Triangle Park on Wednesday and East on Tuesday. There farmer’s markets provide a valuable and affordable space for farmers and food artisans to get their food to the public. They need a facility to continue their good works from, and need funds to build it. If you’d like to donate to support the SFC, you can do so here: http://www.sustainablefoodcenter.org/capital-campaign/about
See my other posts about Dai Due here:
And by others: