On Thursday evening, ButcherBox invited a few of our most loyal and long-standing Boston-area customers to a small farm in Lincoln, Massachusetts, for a special multi-course dinner designed by our in-house chef, Yankel Polak.
With a perfect early-fall sunset as a backdrop, all in attendance were treated to an incredible culinary experience as we paired some of our favorite ButcherBox cuts with beef from Matlock Farms — our host for the night — along with some great wine and New England craft beer and cider.
“We wanted to do an ‘Outstanding in the Field‘-style dinner for our members so we could get some awesome photos, tell our members how much they mean to us, and learn about what they want and need,” said ButcherBox’s co-founder and CEO Mike Salguero.
“It was great to be able to do it at Matlock, a farm that was started in 1635 and has been passed down through 12 generations of farmers,” he added.
The atmosphere was ideal for discussions on what makes ButcherBox so great and how we can improve our customers’ experiences. The glow and heat from the campfires set up near the grazing Belted Galloways — Matlock’s signature breed of cattle from the Galloway district of Scotland — paled in comparison to the warmth felt among the guests and ButcherBox team members.
Some of the suggestions from our customers included requests for more products, such as lamb and fish, and improvements to packaging (something we already have in the works).
“We heard some great comments on the ease of use of our service and the incredible taste of our meat,” said Mike. The food, as expected, was the focus. And, with Chef Yankel at the helm, the entire dining experience was unforgettable.
As Chef Yankel explained, a lot of thought went into every detail. “The food was sort of a conglomeration of who I am, paired with the needs of the event.”
For our chef, that meant choosing the centerpiece proteins first. In the case of this event, that meant selecting two items that would make use of the Matlock farm beef, while the rest would involve his favorite ButcherBox cuts.
“I began by thinking about pairing these meats with appropriate flavors,” Yankel explained. “Two elements drove ingredient choices: Location and seasonality. The combination of our location, a local farm in the rustic town of Lincoln (which is only 20 minutes outside Boston but feels a world apart) and the early fall, led to my selection of jams and apples, cheeses and sausages, cornbread and hearth roasted onions.”
Chef Yankel got personal with the dishes, too. He says he created the menu from what makes him smile, what reminds him of childhood, and what tastes of nostalgia and comfort.
“The menu drives the event,” he added.
As our guests arrived, mingled, and took in the picturesque farm, they were treated to an array of appetizers that included a “Matlock Meatball” with the farm’s own beef in a smoky-sweet sun-dried tomato sauce. There was also ButcherBox filet mignon paired with orange and nutmeg-dusted shallot jam, crispy onions, and parsley, as well as other small dishes featuring ButcherBox Italian sausage and ButcherBox bacon jam.
Sitting down at an extra-long farmhouse table under strings of lights and paper lanterns, the dinner party was greeted by a plated salad made up of local lettuces, green vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, and Matlock Farm harissa beef merguez.
After the salad course, Chef Yankel and his amazing staff served up a family-style meal centered on ButcherBox New York strip steaks marinated with coriander, lime, cilantro, and garlic EVOO, as well as ButcherBox boneless and skinless herb-marinated chicken thighs, accompanied by grilled vegetables, grilled corn with chipotle butter and lime, herb and vinegar potato salad, and cornbread with grass-fed butter.
It was as mouth-watering as it sounds. As the summer-like day faded into a crisp autumn evening, our guests and the ButcherBox team shared a few more stories (and some savory maple bacon-infused whoopie pies).
All in attendance were enriched by both Chef Yankel’s culinary creations and the great company. It was truly a one-of-a-kind customer experience.