5 Questions for Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura
Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura are owners and operators of Lindy & Grundy Meats, a new old-fashioned butcher shop on Fairfax Avenue. Pasadena native Amelia met Erika, who's from Tokyo, while in New York. Soon after, a romantic relationship developed and their culinary adventures began. After attending the French Culinary Institute, Erika worked at an array of fine dining establishments but found her calling in the art of Old World butchering. The couple apprenticed at Fleisher's Grass-Fed & Organic Meats in Kingston, N.Y., and the two decided it was time to bring sustainable, nose-to-tail butchering to L.A.
What’s coming up next on your menu?
Amelia: Turkeys galore! This will be our first holiday season, we're really excited. Our poultry ranchers, Rainbow Ranch Farms, have been raising pastured heritage-breed turkeys for us in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Some of the breeds include Bourbon Reds, Narragansett, Spanish Blacks, Royal Palms, Eastern Wilds and White Midgets.
Erika: I'm working on a couple of farmers market-driven seasonal sausages right now. The most recent being a Tuscan lamb sausage with Sweet 100 tomato raisins that we dehydrate at the shop, olives and thyme. The one that I am really excited about, which is still a work in progress, is a chicken sausage with shiso leaves, chives, sansho, ginger and white pepper. Starting to think more and more about the harvest season...
Latest ingredient obsession?
Amelia: Lamb bacon. We take the lamb belly, cure it and smoke it at the shop ... it's amazing. Lamb BLT's or lamb burgers topped off with lamb bacon. It's lovely.
Erika: Smoked pig trotters!
What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again?
Amelia: Anybody who knows me, including all of my customers, knows that I'm a huge fan of Animal. I live around the corner from there, it's my neighborhood spot. I am obsessed with the poutine, the chicken liver toast, the calves' brains and the hamachi tostada.
Erika: I wait for special occasion-excuses to indulge in a visit to Mozza, one of my favorite restaurants in Los Angeles. We always get an assortment of fresh selections from the mozzarella bar, the squid ink pasta with uni and jalapeno, and the braised veal breast.
The last cookbook you read -– and what inspired you to pick it up?
Amelia: "The Blackberry Farms Cookbook." I'm a huge fan of Michael Sullivan, a friend of ours who also goes by the "Reverend Of Fat"! He is an amazing chef, butcher and salumist at Blackberry Farms. He inspires me to push harder and learn more.
Erika: "Charcuteries des Chefs." It's a Japanese charcuterie book that a friend picked up for me in Tokyo. It's written entirely in Japanese and has the most detailed photographs and straightforward recipes. It's incredible.
What chef has most influenced you?
Amelia: Since I am not a professional chef or cook, I've never been influenced by any chef other than my own mother, Jan, who is one of the most talented, innovative chefs I know. My mother and Erika are my favorite chefs, and they have both given me the courage to cook in my own kitchen!
Erika: April Bloomfield [of New York's the Spotted Pig]. There are not very many women like this that throw down in the kitchen. Her menus are creatively inspired by whole-animal cooking, which inspired me to pursue a culinary career, which eventually lead me to learn to butcher.
Lindy & Grundy Meats, 801 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 951-0804, lindyandgrundy.com.
-- Caitlin Keller
Photo: Amelia Posada, left, and Erika Nakamura. Credit: Jennifer May