Butcher Training Program
Our butchery training program offers a full immersion opportunity. In fact, this is as much one-on-one education as a working butcher shop will allow. You get hands-on lesson time with our dedicated teacher and Protein Manager, Trevor Bundy, and then use that knowledge to help cut meat for our wholesale business and retail cuts for our cases. Our entire team will help you along the way to hone your cutting skills. This gives you the opportunity to use the knowledge you have learned immediately within a fast-paced, supportive environment. You “practice” on lamb, pork and beef that we have procured for our retail stores and our clients, and by the time you are finished with the full 12 week program you will be able to cut down whole animals into larger quarters and more case-ready/restaurant-ready portions. You will learn what you need to know to feel secure and in control of your craft. While this is a cutting apprenticeship, it is important to note this is not a full consultancy program. After successful completion of the program you may be considered as a job candidate for a full time butcher position with Fleisher’s. Many of our best butchers have past through the program. If you are planning on going elsewhere with your training, Fleisher’s will remain a resource for your future endeavors: we can provide letters of recommendation, networking opportunities in farming and sustainable food, as well as some tips and knowledge if you decide to open your own butcher shop. Our focus is training you on cutting meat. When you graduate from the program we guarantee that you will be able to butcher a lamb, a pig and a steer.
Schedule & Entrance Requirements
All apprenticeships take place in our main breaking and production facility on the waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn. A portion of the apprenticeship also take place in our Park Slope shop, which is open 7 days a week. You are expected to work five days per week (Monday – Friday), for full 10-hour days. We expect our students to work just as hard as our employees and perform most of the same tasks as well; which will give you the feel of how a butcher shop is run and how our days are structured. This enables you to see all aspects of the operation, including sausage and prepared foods production, as well. Fleisher’s Butchery Training Program offers a one of a kind opportunity, uniquely different from most meat programs in nearly every way. There is no tuition cost for this invaluable opportunity aside from a $7,500 materials fee, which does not include housing. If traveling from far and wide to join us, we will consult with you on the best and most convenient places to live during your time in Brooklyn.
Materials and Supplies
As part of the training we provide everything you need, including knives and safety gear (all of our butchers wear armor). We provide access to recipes, cookbooks and texts for research and information and all the equipment and ingredients to make those recipes work. We always suggest reading Michael Pollan, Joel Salatin, the River Cottage cookbooks, the Niman Ranch cookbook , and of course our book, all of which will certainly give you a taste of our philosophy.
Entrance into our apprenticeship program is highly competitive and follows a strict schedule for application windows and deadlines. Please submit an inquiry form in the “Contact Us” section of our website with “Apprenticeship Applicant” in the subject line. We will provide you with the full details necessary to complete your application and be considered for an available spot. We grant entry into the program based on your experience and references, and want apprentices to leave the program with a rough plan of what they will do with their training thereafter. With many inquiries coming in from aspiring butchers around the world, the selection process can even come down to responsiveness on emails and submitting the deposit in a timely manner. We’re always available on the phone or via email to discuss any questions, concerns or otherwise.