Butchering can be a form of art. Let Jonny Farrell be a good example of that. His Instagram feed looks delicious! Definitely not safe for vegan... #butcher #food #meat #restaurant
Butcher and meat specialist
Originally from Wigan (England), but now living in Hong Kong, Jonny Farrell works as the head butcher at Blue. Where he offers a bespoke butchery service.
The first thing you told me is that you find it “mad” people want to hear about you and your job. Wouldn’t you agree that there is something real and authentic about your job?
Haha, most definitely. Butchering is one of the oldest professions going. And one of the many things I love about it is the fact some of the techniques I use today haven’t really changed since when our ancestors learnt how to kill for food. Now that is amazing! But I also find it mad that people are interested in why I butcher. I originally went to university for music but fell in love with the job around 4 years ago and haven’t looked back.
Like most butchers I like to talk, and once I’m on the subject of butchering it’s hard to stop, haha! It’s a subject that you truly are learning all the time. I recently was in a butchering competition with an awesome guy that has been in the trade for well over 40 years… I really learnt so much from him. And at the end he came to me and thanked me and said he learnt a lot from me. No egos or anything. I was astounded, how can someone with a wealth of knowledge and experience learn from a rookie. He said my fresh approach showed him things he never thought about!!!
The last few years there is a lot of talk about eating healthy and living a vegetarian lifestyle. As a professional butcher, do you experience any problems or disrespect from people?
Yeah a lot! A few days ago I got someone commenting on one of my Instagram photos, three skinned rabbits from France, they called me a “sick mother fucker”. The thing is, eating rabbit is much better than eating shit mass farmed beef. Right? I’m all for eating healthy. I myself am in the middle of a full fitness spree. Gym most days and trying hard to cut out the crap. Eating healthily unfortunately does tend to cost slightly more than your average Burger King or Big Mac.
For meat eaters I go by this rule… If the salesman in front of you can tell you everything about the product…
Slaughter date, feed, where it was bred, etc etc… Then most likely it’ll have been ethically raised, if not then don’t bother with it. Go buy some tasty veggies and cook up those! Simple. As people we will always eat meat, we’ve evolved eating meat. I just wish all the efforts that vegans and vegetarians put into berating us meat eaters, were put to good use by showing the difference between mass produce shit and healthy farmed beef from family owned farms. There’s not enough beef on the planet to feed everyone, so stop eating shit and eat a nice balanced diets.
Too bad I can’t experience the meat at Blue myself. Do you have a favorite meat to cut or to eat?
At Blue we carry Rubia Gallega (Galician Blonde) beef, it’s one of our signature cuts that ranges from 12-16 years old! This is definitely an amazing meat that has a super unique taste. I love selling this. But my favourite has to be from my UK supplier. They always get some amazing rare breed beefs such as Longhorn, Dexter, British Blue amongst others. We age them around 45 days, which gives them a seriously beefy flavour and stunning texture. It never fails me!
Your wife seems a great baker too. Both your Instagram feeds look so delicious! Do you guys ever worked or cooked together?
Haha, yeah it’s super handy having a baker wife. We always have amazing bread on hand. And on the rare occasion we’re at home together, we always collaborate in some shape or form. The dream though is to have our own little store somewhere back home, Butcher & Baker with a little simple cafe joining!
I saw you got an interesting tattoo recently on your knee. I find it awesome that people get inspired by their passion to get a tattoo. Are all your tattoos butcher related?
Hahaha, I’ve lost count of how many I’ve got and believe me I have some pretty bad ones. I lost a bet whilst drunk in Beijing and ended up getting a friends face tattooed on my right arse cheek! A similar event a year later landed me with Miffy (Japanese cartoon character) on my inside thigh…
But I do have a few butcher related ones, the wife and I got matching ones on our one anniversary. I got a cleaver and she got a whisk, same style. I got a T-bone in a postal stamp… My most recent one though is of a British Longhorn, a stunning breed of cow. Let me tell you, a tattoo on the knee is certainly not a walk in the park…
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Photo by Jagged Perspective.