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#GirlsWithKnives Spotlight: Barbara Fisher, Butcher + Sausage Artisan

Barbara Fisher is the owner, butcher, and artisan sausage maker of Barb’s Butchery in Beacon, NY…but she used to be a vegetarian. Upon moving to the Hudson Valley, she noticed there were no independent shops providing local meats and Barb’s Butchery was born. The shop doles out innumerable cuts of meat, daily lunch offerings, and even specialty dog foods. In addition to making sausages, Barb is a mother and an avid athlete!

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How did you find your way into the historically male-dominated culinary industry?

I was a college math instructor and changed careers…math was worse. The farmers and men in the industry I work with don’t seem to have any problem with my being a woman; albeit I know my business well.

Which ladies serve up culinary inspiration in your life?

Honestly, I own and operate a very small shop in the outer-burbs of NYC and haven’t had a lot of interaction with many women in the industry. Lauren Zilany is the chef de cuisine at the Roundhouse in  Beacon, NY (Terrence Brennan is the head chef as of now) and she has been the most helpful. She’s been in the industry for nine years and came in as an apprentice to learn to butcher.

What advice do you have for other women looking to build culinary careers?

Be brave and go for it. It’s hard and challenging and stressful and amazing and inspirational and exciting and worth it. I am in  my third year and the shop still may fail miserably…and I still think it’s worth every second.

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