Welcome to a new, semi-regular blog post called WhatChewBeenUpTo. It’s our way of looking back on the people, places and things that we’ve feature on the show and reporting on changes in their business, expansions, new paths, etc.
One of the things we learned early on was that as soon as we aired a story, that story was probably going to change. So, we’d lament when someone moved or changed directions or (worst case) closed completely.
But we’re a family and families change.
These are dedicated and driven guys who we knew were always going to be looking forward.
Since we had them on the show, they’ve been on Chopped Twice (clip below), moved the location of the Mulefoot to downtown Imlay City (address below) and brother Matt has just opened a butcher shop in a corner of Ferndale’s industrial area that is quietly attracting food entrepreneurs and startups.
It’s called Farm Field Table and is quickly being noticed by the people who take notice of fine food establishments.
There is a commitment to quality meats that the home chef has had to search for. You either got to know a farmer really well to get access to their meats or took a trip down to Detroit’s Eastern Market (Website) (UTR Clip) or Flint’s Farmer’s Market (Website) (UTR Clip) or West Michigan’s Crestwick Farms (Website).
With Farm Field Table, you get access to a chef’s perspective in a butcher shop.
When I was looking to make something special for a dinner with friends, I had a 10-12 rounds Facebook chat with Chef Matt as we talked about what my friends liked, and we went back and forth with suggestions which we settled on an 11lb Porchetta roast with the skin on.
This impressive Italian mainstay is a rich and definitely not every-night meal option.
It was well received by my friends and it delivered 3-4 more meals in leftovers!
The day I was there, another customer named James stopped in to get an idea for dinner and ended up with a marinated flank steak. He had a bunch of questions about how long to cook it and where the cut was located on the animal.
As I stood there soaking in the fun that is talking about food, we all joined in sharing techniques, seasonings, favorite meals and talking about future meals. We talked about Grass Fed beef and why that cow needs to spend its last month on a diet of grain to add fat (remember, Fat is Flavor) and finish to your steak.
This is not just an old school butcher shop – – these are CHEFS who help customers fully become better home cooks. If you plunk down your hard-earned cash on a 14 day aged, grass/grain-fed steak, improperly season it, overcook it and generally hate the finished meal, you’re less likely to take a chance on a pricey ingredient a second time. But if you get some world class kitchen tips and tricks from a team that is so passionate about the food you eat, then you’re going to be successful.
Matt and Mike Romine and the chef’s they have surrounded themselves with are on a mission to make you excited to eat dinner. If you’re just starting out and need some basic help, they do not look down on your lack of knowledge, but rather want to be your encyclopedia (yeah, I’m old and I still use that word) OR if you’re a seasoned old fart like me, and occasionally get stumped and need the inspiration to cook beef, pork, chicken a new and different way – – we all win with the kind of business that FFT has created.
I can’t wait to see where the Romine’s go next. Their dedication to the craft of food is going to make us all eat better meals.
Mulefoot Website: www.themulefoot.com
Mulefoot Address: 244 E. Third Street Imlay City MI 48444