Heritage And Heirloom... Chickens?

Mar 7, 2012

When you hear the words “heritage” and “heirloom” what comes to mind? For Chef Steve Pope, it’s chickens.

Pope will be visiting Charlotte’s 7th Street Public Market this Sunday, March 11 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, for a special tasting, lecture and demonstration event.

“People are re-discovering the flavors, textures and appearance of heritage foods, such as tomatoes and apples,” explains Jacqueline Venner Senske, the market’s operations manager. When it comes to poultry, there are certain cooking methods that will highlight what she describes as the “fuller” flavor of the meat.

Chef Pope’s expertise goes all the way back to his youth when he worked on his grandparents’ poultry ranch. Like many food experts, Pope has traveled extensively – but he’s one of only a small number who can claim a regular guest spot on the “Chicken Whisperer” radio program.

Some urban poultry lovers are trying their hands at backyard chicken farming. Before you build a pen or bring home chicks, check out the rules that govern where you live. You don’t want to run “a-fowl” of the regulations.

Even if heritage birds aren’t on your menu just yet, this week’s event will appeal to folks eager to try different poultry preparation methods. Says Venner Senske: “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn from a chef like Steve. It’s great exposure for any home cook.”

And she agrees with his assertion: “Heritage cooking is the act of remembering through food.”