Table setting
TABLE Setting for a Sonoma County Vintners auction item at MacBryde Farm.

By Pierre Ratte

“An Evening with a Farmer, Butcher, Chef and Unicorns” was the billing for an auction item from Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) in Healdsburg last week. SCV gives grants to more than 430 organizations in education, literacy, health, human services, art and culture. Food and wine in Healdsburg are part of a virtuous circle uplifting people while providing top-drawer culinary experiences attracting visitors from far and wide.

SCV’s charity dinner included more than one farmer, butcher and chef. Dinner was hosted by Duskie Estes and John Stewart at their MacBryde farm where they raise sheep, goats and pigs. The educational lesson on butchering was provided by Dave “The Butcher” Budworth and Marc-Henri Jean Baptiste.

Dave is an educational phenomenon. His History Channel show, now available on YouTube, is simply called The Butcher. As Dave says, “I love telling people I’m a butcher and talking to them about farm-to-table products.” He’s passionate about pastured animals who have “a good life and a bad day.”

Marc-Henri is passionate about charcuterie, especially French style. You can find him at his newly opened restaurant in Windsor, Maison Porcella. His wife, Maud, and 5-year-old daughter will be thankful you did.

Charlie Palmer barely needs an introduction. He makes his home in Healdsburg and is active in many charity and food events. Shane McAnelly made his way into the Healdsburg food scene, opening Chalkboard at the Hotel Les Mars and running it for eight years before joining Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen, where he’s been chef since August 2023.

Unicorns, being exceptionally tasty, valuable and hard-to-source wines, were supplied by Three Sticks winery, courtesy of William Price and Prema Kerollis.

Fun facts: Marc-Henri Jean Baptiste worked for Daniel Boulud and then for four years for Alain Ducasse at the famed Louis XV restaurant in the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, cooking for Prince Albert’s wedding. Tina Turner was there.

Dave the Butcher can be found at Big John’s Market. Charlie Palmer owned and ran Metrazur in Grand Central Station’s renovated east balcony before it became Apple Computer’s flagship store in Manhattan.

The Michelin Guide was started in 1900 by a tire company looking to encourage drivers to travel further. The star rating system appeared after World War I, in 1926. The maximum award from Michelin is three stars, meaning “exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.”

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