A ‘foodie’ tested her butchery skills against seasoned opponents on a new cable series to take away the $10,000 weekly prize.
Competing against three other experienced butchers on The History Channel’s new television and streaming program ‘The Butcher,’ Jullenne Cunningham ‘held down the fort’ as the only African-American women among four contestants, showcasing her self-taught butchery skills.
Cunningham, who is a chef with Caribbean roots, hails from Pelham Bay, and is known as a ‘grill-master’, completely disassembled a large piece of meat during the show, holding her two and half years of butchery experience up against competitors who have been at the craft for at least three decades.
“I surprised myself during the show,” she said. “Not only did I measure up, I went toe-to-toe with a competitor who has 35 years of experience.”
At times, she used a device on the show that looked like an oversized hacksaw to cut through a huge chunk of meat.
“It takes a lot of patience and skill just to move the muscles around,” she said, adding “I have studied anatomy a lot and butchery….was a skill that really matched to me.”
Cooking comes natural to her, she said, adding that her mother was a cook as well.
Butchery, which she said she picked up after learning more about the importance of using grass-feed non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) meat products, may be an culinary art she plays a role in reviving as she and her business partner Louisa Mathis bring more organic meat and other healthy goodies to dinner parties throughout the area via their business Arcadian Pastures.
She said she learned a lot about butchery from a farmer in Sloansville, NY who she meet through her company, which currently does pop-up shops and private events and is planning on an expansion.
Her assembly of traveling chefs and butchers offer a wide range of non-GMO products.
He episode of ‘The Butcher’ aired on The History Channel on Wednesday, June 26 and is now available for streaming online.