The family business at the heart of Charcutier Ltd truly is the stuff people dream about on their city centre commute on a dreary Tuesday night! Headed up by Illtud Llyr Dunsford and Liesel Taylor, Charcutier Ltd was established in 2011 after they moved back to Illtud’s Welsh family farm in 2004.
Illtud’s descriptions of life growing up on the farm are idyllic, particularly if you’re a carnivore!
Describing his Grandmother’s cooking;
‘Fried foods were cooked in a black heavy cast iron pan in lard and dripping. Butter was often homemade, salty and tasted best on toast cooked before the open fire.’
Hearing Illtud’s passion for food in his descriptions of home cooking, it seems inevitable that he and Liesel would leave behind successful careers in photography and design and return to his roots on the family farm. On their return, they took up residence in an old caravan. As a family, Illtud’s parents and uncle support the farm and production, they set about exploring ways to diversify; drawing on the family tradition and knowledge of livestock rearing and the processing of meat products.
However, the family’s experience, passed down through generations, only took Illtud so far. Inspired by the huge variety of meat products made all over the world, Illtud was keen to take the traditions of the family and combine them with contemporary production methods and what he calls ‘meat science’.
Illtud travelled extensively on his quest for meat based knowledge. During trips to the United States, he spent time in the meat labs of Iowa State University learning how to produce smoked sausages and other treats originating from the barbecue pits of the Deep South. Illtud considers the production of charcuterie to be a science.
“It’s a scientific process, one that needs to be fully understood. Just because you can make a half decent salami in an outbuilding doesn’t mean that product is safe to sell to the general public. Once you know the science behind producing a product, you can then make a signature range of flavours to your product by tweaking salt and cure levels, changing the acidity or by adding a little smoke.”
The team have since converted the farm dairy into a family home and invested in impressive food production rooms. In 2011 Charcutier Ltd was launched, now drawing on family tradition and a pinch of meat science!
We’re delighted to stock a range of Charcutier Ltd products inspired by Illtud’s travels. Their All Beef Franks are authentic North American style frankfurters made using premium British beef. Their Sheboygan Brats utilise a classic German Bratwurst recipe. Using premium British pork, they season with marjoram, caraway, ginger and white pepper. Their Polony is a slicing sausage based on a traditional 17th century recipe. With hints of cinnamon and ginger it’s best with a full English breakfast!
Find Charcutier Ltd in Gloucester Services Farmshop now.