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James Beard Award-Winner Adam Danforth & José Take on Ferdinand the Bull

August 2015

This past month, José welcomed slaughtering and butchering extraordinaire Adam Danforth to his home for a very special event courtesy of Chapel Hill Farms from the Shenandoah Valley: a tasting of a six year-old Randall Lineback cow and a three month-old Randall Lineback calf. 

Dating back to the 18th century, these cows are one of America’s oldest and rarest cattle breed. Once facing extinction, they were listed as “critically endangered” in 2004 by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy, which is when Chapel Hill owner Joe Henderson decided to bring as many of them as possible to his farm. Chapel Hill is now currently home to 70% of all Randall Linebacks, a breed that represents an incredible story of survival in our country’s history. Among Chapel Hill’s products is their prized Ruby Veal, which because of the exceptional genetics of the Randall Lineback and the farm’s careful and traditional farming practices, is an absolutely unique product unlike anything else you can find on the market.

Helping us connect with our roots through his incredible products and providing a delicious way to taste history, Joe Henderson’s mission to preserve Randall Linebacks is an important one to José and his team, and hosting him alongside expert butcher Adam Danforth made the evening all the more exciting – and delicious. These are the highlights. 


Adam prepares his scabbard, a knife kit that sits around his waist and allows him to easily store knives while butchering without contaminating his workspace. 


José and Adam toast to Ferdinand before the carving begins.

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Rib eyes grill away. Here, the left rib eye is grilled with its fat-cap facing down, which melts the fat into the meat and imparts an incredible flavor. 


Everyone’s hard at work as Ferdinand continues to get broken down. 

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Juicy pieces of strip loin that’s been finished with olive oil and Maldon salt is passed around to guests.


José and team with Washington, DC Chef Victor Albisu of Del Campo celebrating a successful night. 

Click here to read more about Randall Linebacks and Chapel Hill Farm.