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  • May 09, 2024 3 min read

    In a compelling episode of the Ol' Boy Podcast, host Chad Ward sat down with T.C. Turner, a seasoned butcher with 27 years behind the meat counter, to explore the profound value of hands-on work in the butchery industry. The episode traversed Turner's storied career, the importance of community in butchery, and the evolving landscape of barbecue culture worldwide.  

    The Art of Butchery and Respect for Tradition  

    T.C. Turner, inheriting his trade from his father, emphasized the vital role of tradition in his craft. Discussing his formative experiences hunting and processing game such as elk in Central Arizona, Turner shed light on the meticulous care and respect for animals inherent in butchery. He believes this respect is essential to pass along, especially as the industry faces a decline in skilled artisans. Both Turner and Ward highlighted the need to educate more young people in the trade to preserve these invaluable skills.  

    Supporting Local and the Impact of Social Media  

    A significant portion of the conversation focused on the importance of supporting local businesses. Turner spoke passionately about the benefits of frequenting local butcher shops and engaging with the community, which he said are enhanced by leveraging platforms like social media. Such tools not only promote small businesses but also helps in educating consumers about the origins of their food and the effort involved in its preparation.  

    Global Barbecue Culture and Its Local Reverberations  

    The discussion took a flavorful turn into the world of barbecue, a passion evidently shared between the host and guest. Turner recounted his experiences from ‚Äúcure camps‚ÄĚ and international events, highlighting a particularly memorable encounter with meat industry legend Michael Sullivan. With barbecue‚Äôs surging popularity, as far away as Australia and as close as Nashville, Turner brought attention to the international camaraderie and shared culinary appreciation that barbecue fosters.¬†¬†

    Educating the Next Generation: Classes and Cure Camps  

    In an inspiring segment, Turner discussed his involvement in teaching butchery classes and cure camps, aiming to impart his extensive knowledge to chefs and enthusiasts alike. These educational endeavors are not just about cutting meat but understanding the animals, their upbringing, and ethical processing practices. Such initiatives ensure that the art of butchery is not lost but enhanced with each new generation.    

    Pushing Boundaries: Beyond Butchery  

    Beyond his primary trade, Turner has ventured into helping barbecue aficionados perfect their craft, recommending beginners start with manageable cuts before advancing to more complex preparations. His tips for new cooks to begin with a whole chicken or pork butt laid a foundation for anyone's barbecue journey, echoing his philosophy of gradual, informed learning.  

    In Conclusion: A Call to Community and Craft  

    As the episode drew to a close, Turner urged listeners to seek local, learn from seasoned professionals like himself, and participate in the vibrant community surrounding butchery and barbecue. Chad Ward, echoing his guest’s sentiments, highlighted the rewards of engaging deeply with one's food, from knowing its source to mastering its preparation.  

    The Ol' Boy Podcast episode with T.C. Turner not only celebrated the craft of butchery but also underscored the broader cultural, educational, and community-oriented aspects of the trade. It was a rich reminder of the threads that connect us through our foods and the crafts that help shape them.  

    Listen Here


    "I guess I went to meat cutter college for like 18 years and didn't know it." 

    • T.C. Turner¬†

    3 Fun Facts About Thomas 

    1. T.C. Turner met Tyler Florence at the World Butchers Challenge, where participants create displays from identical carcasses within a limited time. 
    2. T.C. Turner and Chad Ward both share a strong love for banana pudding, discussing their preferred toppings for this favorite dessert. 
    3. T.C. Turner cooked a wild turkey breast and axis deer strap for Kid Rock, who gave high praise for the dishes.

    Where to Follow Thomas 

    Red Beard Butcher