Eagle Yu – Aged Butchery
Catering and cutting during the pandemic
Eagle is the head butcher and proprietor of Aged Butchery
Yu began his career not in food, but in computers. He was born in Taiwan and moved with his family to Saudi Arabia and Illinois before settling in Northern California when Yu was in the fourth grade. He studied computer science and engineering in San Diego and then spent 15 years working as a DVD author.
just as DVDs had usurped VHS — the format began shifting to Blu-ray and streaming services. This gave Yu the opportunity to think about his career and, ultimately, decide he wanted to try something entirely new. He had developed an interest in culinary arts simply by being a patron of restaurants
Yu’s interest in specific breeds encouraged him to find specialty butcher shops that sold these particular cuts, which led him to discover an apprenticeship program offered by Fleishers, a sustainable butchery based in New York. In 2013, Yu and his bulldog, Bootie, drove across the country to upstate New York, where he enrolled in a four-month apprenticeship at Fleishers
When his apprenticeship ended, Fleishers hired Yu to work at their shop in Kingston, NY. After several months in Kingston, Yu and Bootie drove back across the country again. This time, Yu’s goal was to launch his own butchery that could service his friends, family and community.
Yu was ready to begin butchering on his own, which he first attempted at a carniceria in Downey owned by a friend who had also completed the same apprenticeship. Yu decided to call his company Aged Butchery, because everything is technically aged.
He would first sell his cuts at the West Hollywood Farmers Market and later the larger Hollywood Farmers Market. He found that his customers appreciated his style, as it not only minimizes waste, but appeals to a wide variety of global cuisines.
Yu has, for the time being, stopped selling at farmers markets. He ran into a technicality with the USDA where he was not allowed to use his friend’s carniceria — which, as a retail space, is exempt from USDA inspection, and still use his own company name. He is now on the precipice of securing his own space, which will function as a butcher shop and kitchen. Here, he can make his own deli meats, bacons, stocks, and other products. Once that’s in place, Yu will resume providing the same transparency and integrity his customers have always enjoyed, all sourced from local farmers with whom Yu has developed a relationship. You can follow Yu’s progress via his website or Facebook page.
~ More About No Ounce Wasted ~
Profit margin perils, mental health crises, employee challenges. Being a butcher is so much more than cutting meat. No Ounce Wasted is a safe space for butchers to share their successes and woes, so that we can all learn and grow together.
Join host Bryan Mayer, butcher, educator and Team USA World Butcher Competition member, as he has honest conversations about staying sharp in the meat business.
To get more of No Ounce Wasted, be sure to visit the podcast page for replays of all the shows here: https://www.inspiredchoicesnetwork.com/podcast/no-ounce-wasted/