Everyone Needs A Meat Guy (or Gal)!

Steve Nickles
Nickles Distribution,  Inc
(630) 809-9548
Pasture-raised farm fresh meat and eggs
I’m totally hooked on pastured meat and Steve is my dealer.  He’s at my little Farmer’s Market in Hinsdale during the growing season, but sells to my community from my driveway the rest of the year.  The chickens, pork, beef and eggs are all wonderful (we’ll talk about the fuzzy little duckling later).  If you’ve never had a pastured chicken, it will be a revelation to you.  I know you’re doubting me again but you must simply try one to believe it.  -Jill

Jim Wimer
Gourmet’s Choice
(815) 836-0052
Seafood and high-end meats
Baby, this man’s got meat!  The first time I saw his NY strips- with their outrageous marbling- I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  I actually hadn’t seen a steak like that since living in Japan.  And the fish!  Its all individually quick frozen with liquid nitrogen at sea and vacuum-sealed.  I will absolutely swear to you that it is as good or better than the supposed “fresh” fish we can get here in the Midwest.  Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Campeche shrimp either (Gulf-caught).  They are just like dining on the breeze of an ocean sunset- pink, briny and so clean tasting.  As for Jim himself,  he is passionate. He absolutely loves his product and his job and it is tangible.  He’s about 6’4” and an F5-level bundle of enthusiastic energy. –Jill

Resource for finding local sources of pastured meats
Dry Aged Natural No Antibiotic Humanely Raised Organic meat finally got its own acronym:  DANNAHRO.  Whatever you want to call it,  it is just a term for meat that comes from animals that were raised in ways that made them as healthy as possible while they were alive.  Yes, it’s a bit of a splurge, especially when compared to your average supermarket or Costco acronym-free beasts, but when you take into account the health concerns and inferior flavor of those lesser cows, you’ll realize you and your family are worth the investment.  If you’re not in the Chicago metro area, you’ll have to find your own resources for quality meats.  Many, but not all farmer’s markets have meat vendors who are figuring out better ways to distribute their products during the off-season.  Eatwild.com maintains a database of local purveyors of responsibly-raised animals.  -Kyle

Tallgrass Beef
Pasture Raised Beef
Tallgrass is owned by legendary Chicago anchorman Bill Kurtis.  I know of lots of folks who are intimidated by what they’ve heard about pasture-raised beef:  it’s dry, it cooks differently, it tastes different.  Don’t worry about all that.  This stuff is great.  Before I met Steve, I got all of my beef shipped to me in large orders from Tallgrass.  It really was the simplest process and wasn’t crazy expensive.  I’d buy 25 lbs of ground beef, a bunch of flank steaks and chuck roasts.  That’d last me the better part of a year.  -Jill