A cut above: Customers meet their butcher at Buzz Food holiday pre-sale

Panicking about preparing a Christmas dinner for 15 this year? Wondering what to give your relative who already has everything? Hoping to avoid another Christmas dinner “Pinterest fail” with your tenderloin?

The staff at Buzz Food Service have the answers to your holiday dinner questions, and they say it starts with meeting your butcher.

The local meat and seafood provider is hosting a first-of-its-kind Gourmet Holiday Pre-Sale event Friday to help members of the community do just that.

“For many years, we have sold roasts to individual consumers for holiday meals or boxes of steaks for gifts or special occasions, but we never advertised that option to the public,” said Dickinson Gould, president of Buzz Food Service.

“We know that beef can seem confusing or even overwhelming to lots of consumers, so they consistently buy the same few items that they recognize and are comfortable with. We wanted to host an event where people can freely ask questions about beef and the beef industry, and get real answers from people with a lot of knowledge,” said Gould.

He said the holiday pre-sale event is designed to give guests the opportunity to plan their holiday meals and purchase restaurant-quality meats not available in other local retail outlets and grocery stores.

Those who attended the pre-sale will be able to choose from a variety of the company’s specialty and custom meats — as well as a few more traditional favorites.

Guests can select from USDA Prime grade and Certified Angus Beef brand cuts, a variety of domestic and Australian lamb, Berkshire pork, veal, all-natural poultry and several fresh seafood options.

Popular meats like bone-in rib roasts, steaks and beef tenderloins will be available, as well as some “fun and interesting” options like crown roasts, dry-aged steaks and roasts, and tomahawk ribeyes.

Fresh and frozen seafood options will also be available for purchase, along with shrimp and jumbo lump crab meat.

Guests can also order gift boxes of steaks, offering a local, quality alternative to Internet retailers like Omaha Steaks, Williams-Sonoma or items available in the grocery store.

“Only about 2 percent of beef grades into the most selective category, USDA Prime. This quality of beef is rarely available in retail grocery stores. Furthermore, Certified Angus Beef is the most selective branded beef program in the industry, and Buzz is one of very few independent meat companies in the country licensed to process and distribute the brand,” he said.

And while Buzz Food Service said its products are a cut above the rest, Gould said the company will still be able to work with a variety of price points for guests at the event.

“I would love to show people that what you’re getting in the grocery store is really not anything special,” he said. “We’re going to brainstorm ideas. We can help people work around their price points, we can help people work around the things they like and dislike.”

Gould said Buzz Food Service’s goal is to also make the holiday pre-sale event educational and interactive, allowing guests to ask questions and learn more about quality meats.

Executive Chef Paul Smith will be on hand to offer entree ideas and preparation tips to guests, while Buzz’s team of meat cutters and seafood experts will be available to answer questions. Some items will also be available to sample during the event.

The idea is to help guests have a tactical and doable plan for their holiday dinners without any hesitation, stress or mishaps.

For Smith, it’s about getting to know your butcher to answer some of the daunting questions people might have about preparing a holiday dinner.

“We are the meat people. We are the butcher that you should get to know. We want it to be fun. We want to let the guard down and have them experiment,” Smith said. “If you’re buying a tenderloin at a grocery store and you’re not meeting your butcher, then you buy it, it’s in this package, you take it home and throw it in the oven. There’s all this stuff that you needed to do beforehand that you didn’t do because you needed to meet your butcher.”

Kayla Young, a representative with Buzz Food Service, said the event is also about empowering guests to try new and creative dishes — without the stress of doing it alone.

“It’s nice to come to a local place and actually talk to people, as opposed to looking online,” she said. “You don’t want a Pinterest fail.”

Gift certificates for Charleston Restaurant Week, an event organized by Buzz Food Service that will take place in January next year, will also be available for sale at the holiday pre-sale event.

The Gourmet Holiday Pre-Sale will be open to guests from noon to 7 p.m. Friday.

The event will be held at the Buzz Food Service main office, located at 4818 Kanawha Blvd. East, across Route 60 from the town of Rand. For directions call 304-925-4781.

For more information about Buzz Food Service, visit www.beef.buzz.

Reach Carlee Lammers at Carlee.Lammers@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-1230 or follow @CarleeLammers on Twitter.

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