Peter Bouchier: Butchers of Distinction
551 Malvern Road Toorak Vic
03 9827 3629
The local butcher has long been a key figure in the community – serving up quality cuts of meat with a side of friendly advice. The world has changed over the years, becoming faster, more efficient and more impersonal, but now more than ever there is a need for the craft and culture of the old-fashioned butcher.
Peter Bouchier is from a large family of butchers and has been in business since 1983. Peter’s love of his trade began with an apprenticeship in 1976, when he worked in a shop on Malvern Road moved up the ranks: four years later he was managing the shop, and another three years later he and his wife purchased the shop, establishing Peter G Bouchier – Butchers of Distinction. His now renowned butcher’s shop stands only a few doors down from where it all started and he works with his family to carry on the legacy of quality and personable service.
Peter loves the constant changes of the industry: butchery is a reflection of current food trends, of overseas influences and the state of local farming. To be among the industry’s best, Peter takes each shift as a challenge to create something new and unique. No-one knows a cut of meat better than a butcher, and Peter and his team will happily tell you the story behind each product and provide expert advice for how to get the best out of it.
The best meat comes from higher-welfare animals, so Peter and his team scout out boutique farmers to find local suppliers they can trust to produce high-quality meats. Peter described his relationships in the industry as one of the best parts of the job, “From the farmers who put their heart and soul into producing amazing quality livestock to our loyal customers who live and breathe great food – I’m surrounded by people who are as excited by great meat as I am!”
The beef comes from grass-fed Angus and British breeds, while grain-fed Otway and Coltish Berkshire free-range pigs are chosen for their tender and flavourful pork cuts. The products may be new but the techniques are age-old. Smallgoods are made in the artisanal style of the German fleischmasters – frankfurts, weisswurt, kransky and bratwurst are produced from authentic recipes collected from Peter’s travels in Germany. Cured ham is smoked with beechwood, sausages are crafted with all-Australian meat and flavoured with seasonal produce, while Peter’s bacon recipe harks back generations. These curing methods are more expensive to produce and require much more patience and attention to detail than commercial methods, but the final products of this labour speak for themselves.
Of course, the true test for every butcher is the festive season, when customer’s frenetic preparations for the perfect Christmas table demand the best advice and the highest quality product. The size of the oven, the time on hand and the confidence of the cook all play a part in creating the ultimate feast, and Peter and his team have decades of experience in helping everything run smoothly.
Opt for something spectacular, such as a classic glazed ham, a seasoned turkey or a rack of lamb, or something fuss-free, like free-range turkey fillets or a seasoned pork loin ready for the oven. For something a little unconventional, the Trio Poulet will be sure to impress: a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken. Seasonal sides and stuffings are also covered: traditional onion and sage stuffing sits alongside inventive options such as braised apricot and roasted macadamia, and honey-roasted pumpkin with bacon and caramelised onion.
Friendly advice and uncompromising quality may seem like a dream of the butcher’s shop of decades past, but an increasing awareness of where food comes from is turning buyers back to their trusted local butcher. Recently honoured with a Ricky Hart Legend Award by the Australian Meat Industry Council, Peter has been in the game longer than most and has seen the return to boutique butchery.
“Customers are very conscious about what they are eating, they want to know where it’s from and they love to hear the story behind it,” he said, “It’s the attention to detail and the one-on-one service that really makes a difference.” For Peter Bouchier, the local butcher is not a thing of the past, but the way of the future.
Peter Bouchier is located at:
551 Malvern Road, Toorak, VIC (03 9827 3629)
David Jones Food Hall, 310 Bourke St (Butcher: 03 9643 2530 | Deli: 03 9643 2511)
This editorial was created with Peter Bouchier Butchers.