Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chops Specialty Meats

Pigs, pigs, pigs. Chops Specialty Meats is pigcentric!

Their figurehead is a pig. Their logo cleverly features the nose of a pig. (Is the logo-pig drowning in tar? Seeking an escape from a smoke-choked Hell?) And their fare is pig-derived. Oh, but it's so much more than that, too! Not merely pig, you understand. Also cow, chicken, rabbit, lamb, shrimp, crawfish, and frog.

What to make of this poor, crazed fellow? Is he practicing on a rib eye until he gets a feel for the blade? (Ask anyone: good technique makes a world of difference!) Regardless of what he's up to, it's clear he's only biding his time before he makes quick work of himself. That is sheer professionalism. You think he wants some kitchen rookie, barely able to whip up a convincing gumbo, carving him when the time comes? Mais non!

He is a pro, but also, in the truest sense of the word, an amateur. He does what he does out of love. Oh, to chop meat! It brings up the sun in the morning! Cows, pigs, rabbits, frogs! As long as it was once alive, he'll chop it!

Down there in Broussard, Louisiana—just 60-some-odd miles west of Baton Rouge and 140 from the Big Easy—they like their pigs. Alive, if necessary. As in the chopping pig we see above. And over in south-central Louisiana, right by the sole of the Bayou Boot, they've got their own cultural touchstones. Which is why Ol' Choppy might be ringing a few bells about now. Take another look. See a resemblance? To another culinary professional who takes boundless joy in his craft?

A blind man can see the inspiration is Chef Paul Prudhomme. The cap, the neckerchief, the graceful knifesmanship. Uncanny.

(Chef Paul photo from

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