World famous butcher, Dario Cecchini is traveling to New Orleans for two days this May to host a series of events at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse and Tableau, including a butcher workshop and multiple dinners. Dario was invited to New Orleans to experience how Italian culture permeates the city by his apprentice, Richard Brennan III, fourth generation of the New Orleans famed Brennan restaurant family.
The title “World’s Best Butcher” is frequently used to describe Italian butcher, Dario Cecchini. Some of the most revered names in food worship his work. He hails from Panzano in the Chianti region of Italy and his family has a legacy of more than 250 years as butchers, passing the trade down from one generation to the next.
Dario has practiced nose to tail butchery for the past 42 years and believes his work to be an ancient art that involves respect for the animal. There are no premium and lower cuts of meat but rather all parts of the animal are useful if butchered and prepared in an appropriate manner. At this point in his career he sees his role as a teacher and educator. “I am in the phase in my life as an artisan where I feel the need to give away everything I have learned and sow the seeds for the future. It gives me great joy to share my work. I look forward to the pleasure of returning to New Orleans for my second time. A wonderful city—full of positivity and energy, good food, good wine, and lots of great music.”
Richard Brennan III, has had the honor of working as Dario’s apprentice in Panzano over the last year. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Richard’s passion for butchering brought him to Italy to train and work with Dario. Many of the skills he learned with Dario he has brought back to the team at Dickie Brennan and Co., particularly to Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse.
“Learning from Dario has created a shift in the way I approach food and my role as a chef—seeing the animal as a whole and not just a few select cuts. It’s simply amazing what you can create if you have the knowledge and tools. I’m excited for Dario to share this with the New Orleans culinary community,” said Richard Brennan III.
Dickie Brennan & Co. has always partnered with local farmers, fishers and ranchers, but the renewed energy and perspective Richard returned with has ignited a spark. For example, guests at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse will see “Oyster Steak” as an entrée. This is a cut of beef that comes from the side hip joint and is not commonly seen on menus but is tender with great flavor. This is just one example of making the effort to use the entire animal, rather than just choice cuts.
Dickie Brennan & Co. chefs have also recently met with a Louisiana rancher raising wagyu. As a team they are exploring how to use less well-known cuts throughout the four restaurants. Richard Brennan III is leading the charge to establish increased connections with farmers, and ultimately provide superior quality to guests. He’ll be the first to tell you that his education under Dario goes far beyond butchering techniques and includes an entire philosophy of respecting the animal, of its life, of its death, and consciously using everything to the very last tendon. Attendees of the following events will get first-hand experience of Dario Cecchini’s larger than life personality and philosophy.
Butcher for a Day with world-famous Italian Butcher, Dario Cecchini
Place: Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse
Time: 10 a.m.-Noon
Description: Gain access to the ‘best butcher in the world’ when Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse invites Dario Cecchini into their restaurant. The Butcher for a Day event mirrors the popular experience Dario offers guests visiting his shop in Panzano, Italy.
Guests will see Dario demonstrate his skills preparing a side of Louisiana beef and pork for the following event, a Butcher's Dinner at Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse. Not for the faint of heart, this close-up view of a master butcher at work is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Only 100 tickets available.
Steaks from the event will be auctioned off to benefit the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation and the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation.
Butcher’s Dinner with Dario Cecchini, Richard Brennan III
Place: Dickie Brennan Steakhouse
Price: $165 (early bird tickets available until March 31 or until sold out. 100 tickets only)
$200 (after March 31 or after first 100 sold)
Description: After a once in a lifetime butchering demonstration by Dario Cecchini, the beef and swine prepared will be the focal point of a coursed meal prepared by the famed butcher and his team who have traveled to New Orleans from Italy. Working alongside will be 4th Generation Brennan family chefs Geordie Brower and Richard Brennan.
Hosted at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, the courses will be paired with wine selections from Castello di Ama, one of Italy’s most famous wine producers.