What is The Whole Beast?
We are an artisan cured meat producer based in Victoria, BC, Canada.
When we opened, our aim was to address a need in the community for high quality hand crafted cured meats using traditional techniques and ethically raised heritage breed animals. With the growing awareness and demand for products from this segment of the food industry, we felt that Victoria was ready to embrace a business that specializes in nose to tail inspired meat products.
Back in late 2010 Chef Cory Pelan, Chef and GM of La Piola Ristaurante in Victoria, had an epiphany with a pig one afternoon while debating on locations to open his own restaurant. He was in the kitchen working through a whole pig delivery, breaking it down and creating a variety of different products. This is when he realized that while he was in this zone it was the happiest he had been during his entire working life. That was when the inspiration struck to turn his passion into a full-time operation, tapping into his "meat nerd" side. Chef Cory had been practicing and experimenting with techniques for years, always searching for the best ingredients to service his customers. Instead of ordering sausages and cured meats from distributors and getting a product that he wasn't satisfied with, he began to make them himself, in house. He first started with fresh sausages and then moved into cured and fermented products and those products became part of the menu wherever he was cooking. During this time he built and fostered many long-term relationships with local farmers and suppliers, championing ethical and sustainable practices in the industry.
Coinciding with this new vision, a serendipitous opportunity to move into a shared space with the Village Butcher presented itself. With this move The Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria was born, opening it's doors June 28th, 2011
(250) 590-PORK (7675)
2032 Oak Bay Ave
The Whole Beast's vision is to produce handmade, traditional, artisan cured meats without unnecessary additives, preservatives or fillers, while utilizing ethically raised, hormone and antibiotic free meats that are locally sourced. The Whole Beast gives customers a tangible connection to a growing sustainable food movement on Vancouver Island, while increasing awareness and appreciation for nose to tail products.
Owner Cory Pelan is an outspoken champion of the sustainable food movement with many connections to food security initiatives on Vancouver Island. Pas president, treasurer and current board member of The Island Chefs Collaborative (http://www.iccbc.ca/), board member for Slow Food Vancouver Island and stewardship team member representing Vancouver Island for Farm Folk City Folk.
We've asked our team to answer a few questions to help you get to know them.
Q1) How long have you been with the Whole Beast? Since April 2013
Q2) What do you do here? Responsible for dry cured product As well as pates and terrines.
Q3) What were you doing before? Before this I was working in restaurants. After graduating from a Culinary Management program from Algonquin College in Otttawa I spent some time in the restaurant circuit there
Q4) What is your favorite product we carry at the moment? Favourite product is hands down our prosciutto . But it's not attainable to everyone so I'd have to say the Coppa di testa or any of the salamis. Their all my babies It's like asking which kid is my favourite
Q5) What do you do in your downtime? In my downtime I do a lot of Meat curing. Go figure. Also love getting feral and disappearing in the woods. Hopefully with a handful of mushrooms. Mostly that and cooking with my lady.
Q6) What was your most memorable meal in past year? Ooh. Tough call. Every meal should be memorable though. Our staff parties at Zambris have always been top notch. Good food, good company too. That guy needs a Michelin star. Great service and absolutely flawless food.
Q1) How long have you been with the Whole Beast? 1 1/2 years
Q2) What do you do here? I am the whole beast's butcher and sausage maker, but we all do a little of everything
Q3) What were you doing before? butchering at Thrifty foods Broadmead location
Q4) What is your favorite product we carry at the moment? harsh tie: Cotechino and Coppa di Testa are always neck and neck. on certain days the Venetian can give both a run for their money
Q5) What do you do in your downtime? I enjoy spending time with my fiancé, lifting weights, playing Magic the gathering, and cooking
Q6) What was your most memorable meal in past year? Squid ink seafood risotto. thanks again Zambri.
Madone Pelan: Co-Owner/ Marketing +PR *Official Product Taster
Q1) How long have you been with the Whole Beast? Well I am married to the Beast so have been there since it's inception.
Q2) What do you do here? Although I am part owner, the Whole Beast is not my day job - I jump in to help out whenever needed and assist with the Marketing, Social Media and PR. You wont find me in the back Butchering but will see me working the front of the retail shop on occasion as well as assisting at many of the festivals we take part in.
Q3) What is your favorite product we carry at the moment? That is so hard to answer as it seems to change with every season! Right now I'd have to say Chicken Liver Parfait, aka "Paleo Ice cream". FYI. One jar is never enough. Save yourself the trip and just buy two.
Q4) What do you do in your downtime? Downtime? What's that? Just kidding! I actually enjoy distance running and The Whole Beast will be sponsoring my next half marathon. I will need a t-shirt with a slogan - "Fuelled by Bacon"? Open to suggestions!
Q5) What was your most memorable moment l in past year? Again, it is difficult to choose just one. We have been a part of so many great festivals and local community events that have been a lot of fun. I think being recognized by Douglas Magazine as one of the top 10 to watch new business was up there. It was such a huge honor so early on, it gave us a real boost.
A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us in this year's Eat Awards. We truly have the best customers in the business - you guys rock! In case you haven't seen it yet, you can find the awards on pages 31 and 33. http://issuu.com/garyhynes/…/eat_magazine_march___april_2015
In case you haven't already, make sure to pick up a copy of this month's Eat Magazine and check out the article on Nose to Tail preparations (including a few quotes by Cory Pelan) http://issuu.com/…/eat_magazine_january___february_201_1a7b…