An Evening at Taylor’s Kitchen
By Brian Bean
I had the pleasure of attending a Lava Lake Lamb dinner at Taylor’s Kitchen on Tuesday night in Sacramento. Danny Johnson and his wife, Kathy, put on these affairs for the public and I was delighted to be asked to talk about Lava Lake Lamb.
After I spoke, Danny fabricated a Lava Lake Lamb carcass, the guests were seated and all enjoyed a wonderful dinner starring Lava Lake Lamb. I must say, each of Chef Richard’s preparations was excellent. The Lava Lake Lamb bresaola was the evening’s standout. See the menu above.
Beyond enjoying a wonderful meal, the highlights of the evening — for me — were:
- Talking about Lava Lake Lamb (which won’t be surprising to the Lava Lake staff…),
- Answering several dozen questions about Lava Lake’s practices, including animal husbandry and our annual cycle,
- Watching Danny debone and butterfly a Lava Lake leg of lamb so effortlessly, and
- Meeting Ed Shell, master butcher, who started at Taylor’s in 1962 and still cuts meat there once or twice a week. That’s right, 50 years with one outfit, and that’s after more than a decade at other shops in the Sacramento area.
If you are in the Sacramento area, please do consider stopping by Taylor’s Market – next door to Taylor’s Kitchen – and saying hello to the butchers. As Danny was showing me their meat locker and dry aging box, I noticed the staff making sausages. Any butcher shop that makes sausages for all in the store to see has my respect. So many of Taylor’s items are house-made with hand-selected ingredients. The staff’s commitment to quality is obvious.
Taylor’s Market will celebrate its 50th Anniversary next month.