Like most grocery stores, Mario Batali‘s latest food enterprise, Eataly, features a butcher in the 50,000 square feet empire. However, Jennifer Rubell, a graduate of both Harvard University and Culinary Institute of America, is so good at cutting she doesn’t leave behind any blood. It doesn’t help that her victims are vegetables, though.
When asked by New York Magazine what a vegetable butcher does, Batali replied, “If you’re not familiar with how to trim an artichoke, we’ll trim you an artichoke. If you don’t think you have time to peel your baby carrots, you can leave them with us and go shop in the other parts of the store, and we’ll peel them. We’ll do anything but cook them. On your way out, we’ll put the peels in a little separate bag—because they’re going to weigh them at the checkout counter—and then they go into a compost can up front.”
MindBodyGreen conducted an interview with this plant killer to learn more about her skills.
MBG: What was the inspiration behind the creation of the “Vegetable Butcher” position? Rumor has it that a late-night conversation at Del Posto with Mario was involved.
JR: Yes, two months or so before Eataly opened, Mario Batali and I were having dinner at Del Posto. By about midnight, we had come up with this idea of a vegetable butcher, and somehow decided that I’d be the first one. That’s how it all started.
MBG: Have you received any interesting requests? Reactions?
JR: The biggest surprise is how, just two weeks after we opened, we already have regulars. People come in and talk to me, we figure out what they’re going to cook for dinner that night, and then I cut it all up while they go shop for bread, fish, meat, pasta, whatever. Or sometimes they’ll have a glass of wine while I’m trimming their carrots. I love that.
More at MindBodyGreen.
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