Friday Service by Corinne Pease
Articles,  Radio Hour

Friday Service

by Allegra Grant
art by Corinne Pease


Allegra’s essay, “Friday Service,” appears in episode 9 of The Dirty Spoon Radio Hour, which originally aired January 4, 2019. 


Each Friday I perform an act of service early in the morning, just as the sun peeks over the mountains when I walk into the kitchen. Within the past six months, the chef I work for decided to develop a beef butchery program for the restaurant. She made a decision to purchase a forequarter of beef to utilize between her two restaurants.

Throughout the seasonal changes I have seen the beef program grow into something beautiful. My chef hired highly trained, professional butchers from the Asheville area to instruct our management team of chefs how to butcher the forequarter. With their guided instruction, we have developed the butchery program very quickly and have been utilizing as much of the forequarter as we can. The beef is dry-aged and we do lose some meat that is near the mold, but we do our very best to utilize all that we can between the bones and beneath the fat.

 

The service I perform and attend each Friday is honest nourishment for my mind, body and soul as a human being.

 

The service I perform and attend each Friday is honest nourishment for my mind, body and soul as a human being.

For nearly two hours, I spend my morning in reflection with the carcass of this forequarter, anchoring my knife against the rib bones and separating the meat to reserve for further creations. These two hours are sacred each and every time because I separate myself from the hustle and bustle of the start of a busy prep day to pay homage to this animal.

You might think, “Wow, two hours is a lot of time devoted to cleaning the bones and fat of a cow,” but in actuality that is not even a fraction of the time that is invested into raising, slaughtering and butchering ethical meat.

 

Whenever I close my eyes for a brief moment to breathe in the aroma of the aged beef, I can almost smell the grass where this animal laid.

 

Today, as I was cleaning the bones, I thought about where this beautiful beast lived out its last days. Whenever I close my eyes for a brief moment to breathe in the aroma of the aged beef, I can almost smell the grass where this animal laid. It is a perfect image in my mind each Friday morning. To me, it’s curious that I am spending my Fridays in this manner, because Jesus sacrificed his body on a Friday.

As a Catholic, I abstain from eating meat during Lent on Fridays, which helps me to practice self-awareness and patience and to attain greater communion with Christ. It is not required of me to clean the bones as heavily as I choose, but it is what I believe to be honest with myself as a servant of God to do this work.

This is my Friday service.


Original artwork by Corinne Pease.

Allegra Grant is a chef with a thirst for adventure and passion for sustainability. She has been working in the hospitality industry for over 10 years wearing many different hats. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte she moved to Asheville to work with Katie Button at The Nightbell and Curate. In winter of 2016, she moved back to her hometown of Atlanta for the next adventure as the Culinary Events & Farms manager for Cochon555. After hopping around on the rock and roll tour of heritage pigs, she moved to the beach for a more balanced lifestyle. This winter Allegra started her own private chef and events business, Fenomenom, in Wilmington North Carolina where she currently resides. If you want to follow along on her next culinary adventure please visit @oallegrant and @fenomenom.eats on Instagram.

(photo by Alec Vanderboom)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *