Typical bakers start the magic way before you or I (the average human being) even think about getting out of bed. We asked Pastry Chef Sarah Botcher how she keeps up with the craziness.
“I have been on baker’s hours up until recently. This is one of the few jobs that I’ve ever had where I work daytime hours. I’m lucky right now to have that opportunity but I do love early mornings and the quietness and the solitude to work. So I work with Peter my husband, we work daily daytime hours and we’re in production all day long my assistant comes in at 6 so I work at eight so I have a little coffee time in the morning before I get to work…”
So when did you actually start working at the restaurant?
“It was a little haphazard I ended up working here a week before we opened the restaurant so I didn’t really have much time to prepare so you always have to jump and think on your feet when you work in a kitchen and it’s just that reflex of just go and using your instincts and your skill you have to put it to the test but it’s been a really great fit working with Jack and Peter and the really wonderful team we have so far.”
At Butcher & the Boar, just about everything here (when we can manage it) is supplied locally. As a high volume restaurant, we want to give our customers the taste of really high quality and fresh ingredients.
Fresh and locally sourced ingredients happen to be a passion of Pastry Chef Sarah Botcher.
“We use a lot of local purveyors and small farms, Dragsmith which is a co-op out of Wisconsin, Goats and Gardens, which is also out of Wisconsin, and they bring us beautiful produce on a weekly basis and what’s in season fresh tomatoes fruits I’ve had some beautiful Rhubarb from Welcome farms and strawberries that I’ve picked up at the farmers market over the season too and it’s just it’s a really great way to support businesses and to give customers a real sense of really what it tastes like to have good quality fruits vegetables and meats because as Jack in the kitchen they use all of the local meats and then some from Texas, Nebraska so on and so forth…
…It’s very inspiring for me to work with local ingredients. We try to use what is in season as much as possible. We’re a really high volume restaurant so sometimes we can’t always get as much as we’d like from the farms themselves because they are still on a smaller growing scale but I love to be able to have that relationship and cultivate it so they can grow as well.”
Along with delicious desserts, Pastry Chef Sarah Botcher is also in charge of coming up with the fresh (baked daily) bread selection at Butcher & the Boar.
“Making focaccia for a garnish that’s more baked and crisp in a really thin tuile like preparation that’s different but it does require all of us to have our palates committed to bringing the best product together…
…Making the breads in house and doing the pastry is a full production here in the kitchen and we do a lot of bread especially with the foot long hot dog and the beer garden has been selling extremely well. I do natural yeast products and commercial yeast products as well with the breads…
…I make eight dozen foot long hot dog buns every day. So you’re thinking, well that’s anywhere from five to six hundred a week. So we have a lot of output that we do for the beer garden and the restaurant so it’s been a really great experience for me because the more you work with your product the better you understand your product and what you’re working with and the nuances of time and temperature and everything else in between, so I really enjoy the process…
…We make everything every day fresh. Actually it’s not as much work as it sounds. It’s very manageable within production but it’s still very full production there’s never a dull moment downstairs we stay busy, yeah.”
A match made in the celestial realm, fortune falls in our favor with a star crossed Butcher & the Pastry Chef.
Pastry Chef Sarah Botcher talks about what it’s like to go to working at the restaurant with her husband:
“Working with Peter has been as always really great we met in the kitchen so we’ve had this relationship working together for quite some time and he has his area and I have mine. But we still work as a team and I really like it…
…We met at a restaurant working for Steven Brown about 7 or 8 years ago so that was a really great experience to work with great people then and meet my husband.”
So do they actually get to see each other on the day in and out? Yes, in fact, they collaborate (along with Chef) to match palates.
“Usually our collaboration at this point especially revolves around the bread production and pairing it with the right meat as I do all the breads in house and so thinking about whether it’s going to be a garnish or a main component is when we get together and collaborate dishes like the foot long hot dog obviously is an example of meat being and bread being two components together that are very important.”
With a fairly flavor bold and spicy menu at Butcher & the Boar, desserts may be the last thing on anyone’s mind at the end of a meal, that is, unless the dessert of course that sweet finish has the right touch.
Pastry Chef Sarah Botcher has managed to do exactly that.
“Knowing how to finish is really important in the subtlety. In a meal that is as big as you get when you come to our restaurant…
…It’s a lot of flavors, it’s a lot of sensory overload going on sometimes when you eat out. There’s music, there’s people, there’s a lot of food choices, and sometimes you just want to enjoy something more subtle at the end of a meal and for me that’s what I drew upon was a nice clean finish. “
So how do you mesh desserts with our bold and audacious menu filled with meats and spice?
“Jack has a wonderful menu with Peter… they’ve composed a lot of spice, flavor, and just in your face. I wanted to make sure that the finish is just a bit more soft so you can go away with not feeling like ‘oh that just took me over the edge of too much’ – where it’s perfect to finish in a much more subtle , enjoyable, and comfortable way.”