It was with a sense of deep unease that I approached the Creekstone beef processing plant last month. And not just because I was figuring on seeing a bunch of big, healthy animals get slaughtered in front of me and turned into meat. That wouldn’t necessarily faze me. But having already signed on, and not for the first year, with Creekstone Farms as my beef sponsor, I would have been severely discomfited to see anything ghastly. I knew all about Creekstone, I had had Creekstone vouched for, their plant was the most cutting-edge in the country, personally designed by Temple Grandin. But I still had never been there.


Well, I’ve now been there, and even written a two-part essay about the experience. It can be found here, if you are interested. The takeway is that I can’t imagine any being getting dispatched with the kind of painless surprise those steers enjoyed. The whole process is diabolically clever. Because the animals don’t know what hits them, they don’t make any noise, so the guy after them doesn’t get spooked and make noise. Everybody just walks along, figuring something good is around the corner, maybe and trough of hay or a piece of salt to lick. Instead it’s doom, but the kind of doom any of us would be happy to get.


The Creekstone steers have been on my mind a lot lately. The pundits at Slate and elsewhere have been having a bit of sport on the subject of a new cut, the “Vegas Strip,” a kind of shoulder blade cut which until now has been generally dumped into beef grinders. Creekstone is bringing in a super talented young chef, Jon Adams, from Philadelphia, to cook it at Meatopia. Adams has a place called Pub and Kitchen which, were it in New York, would be as overexposed as Kei$ha. Happily, I have the privilge of introducing this good fellow to the New York food world. And of course, I will be deep in Creekstone lore and culture this Wednesday, when I host an ultra-luxe subterranean beef orgy at The Breslin, with April Bloomfield and Pat LaFrieda collaborating. The Breslin Butcher’s Ball, as it’s called, celebrates LaFrieda’s Reserve line, which represents the crown jewels of the celebrity butcher’s aging box. In this case, that’s all Creekstone.


Whether shoulder steak or super-Prime rib, it is an ongoing comfort for me to consider that these animals died painlessly, and not in vain. Come to Meatopia to eat all the different parts of them.