and the man behind the cleaver
About a year ago, I was driving down Fremont Avenue en route to a Mexican Mercado when I saw a silver sign on the East side of the street hung at the edge of a mini mall: “The Meatery”.
What caught my eye was the silver cleaver positioned center of the metal-forged signage between “The” and “Meatery”. My immediately thought was, “Those guys must know what they’re doing…”
So I drove home to Monterey, found The Meatery on Instagram and learned that, indeed, a butcher shop was in the works. Yes, in the unassuming location of Seaside would soon be a place offering premium fresh and dry-aged cuts of meat, charcuterie and a deli.
Nearly two years after its opening, the Culinarian visited The Meatery’s shotgun space which continues in full swing equipped and open to the public. The 2,200 square-foot kitchen was designed to take on large banquet orders. The front of the house includes guest seating that peers into glass cases showcasing the promised hand-cut meats, house-made sausage and house-cured pork among other snout-to-tail offerings such as pate, oxtail and trotter.
The Man Behind the Cleaver
Chef Kevin Hincks, who owns The Meatery alongside his wife, Gina, explained his journey into their artisan butchery, chef-driven concept. “There are a lot of great seasonal menus here, and meat is usually the center of the plate,” said Hincks. “Also, think about it: Great, sustainable meat is available through all seasons.”
Hincks considered the competition before launching The Meatery’s high-end cuts with the understanding that he’d be head-to-head with “big-box” companies nearby like Safeway and Costco’s butcher departments. “But if we can offer the best customer service, the most knowledge and the highest quality product,” said Hincks, “That will grow into something unique in itself.”
“I wanted to do something that highlighted the art that is the nature of butchering…sausage making, and to have a trained staff giving the best advice on how to cook the best products.” Some of Hincks favorite clients are those who usually dine out, but come to The Meatery with the desire to execute good food at home. “People will come in here and buy steaks, come back and say it was the best steak they’ve ever had,” said Hincks. “People who don’t especially know how to cook.” He prides his success on the knowledge of his team to help patrons prepare their favorite cuts at home. “And that starts with having the best product available to them,” said Hincks—the meat, of course, found at The Meatery.
Hincks plans to launch his catering brand in a month to the public because, “What’s better than having top-of-the-line meat in your catering operation?”
The Meatery can be found at 1534 Fremont Boulevard, Seaside. Business hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.