Butcher lovers

Maclean’s on fleischgeist.

“I’m doing a little Frenching now, guys,” Stephen Alexander announces to an enthralled audience as he shows off his way with a blade. “Leave a little extra fat on it,” the charismatic 38-year-old butcher-farmer instructs as he addresses his pork loin, shearing the meat from the bone just so. “I’m anti-lean meat myself.” The mostly female crowd gathered at Bonnie Stern’s Cooking School in Toronto on this late October night murmurs appreciatively.Provocative as the banter may sound, Alexander’s intent here is utterly virtuous. Since arriving in Canada from his native Australia in 1994, Alexander, who operates three Cumbrae’s meat shops and Cumbrae Farms, has become one of the country’s most zealous advocates for the humane, healthy farming and butchering of animals. “He wants people to eat better food,” cookbook author Bonnie Stern says. “It’s a passion.” In the process, he has cultivated a groupie following among people who clamour for his sustainably raised meat—quite literally.


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