When chef Damon Menapace tells you his meat is locally-sourced, he means it. Really local. Menapace is executive chef at Kensington Quarters in Philadelphia, and he only has to cross the room to visit his butcher Bryan Mayer who has his own shop within the restaurant. In fact, the Frankford Avenue business in the Fishtown neighbourhood houses a restaurant, bar, butcher’s shop and butchery school all under one roof, brought together by well-known Philly restaurateurs Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello.
Menapace has a love of whole animal cooking that’s perfectly in sync with Mayer’s passion for the animals he carves up. A lecturer and instructor in butchery, Mayer regularly visits the farms which breed his animals, ensuring demanding criteria on chemicals, antibiotics and feed quality are met. He also runs classes in butchery back at KQ, where the meat preparation element adds to a theatrical vibe — something the Pasquerellos tapped into when designing the venue. Materials from traditional butcher’s shops, such as soapstone, have been used and Mayer’s domain is united with the open kitchen by white subway tiles fixed with black grout. A bespoke fit-out of cedar wood runs throughout, and local artist Mike Ski has brought the whole thing together with the Kensington Quarters handshake mural.