A MASTER CRAFTSMAN

An expert in the art of charcuterie, Romeo has translated his French talents into creating a diversified range of highly sought-after products in Australia. Respected by providores, chefs and restaurateurs, Romeo’s signature is his unique talent in utilising every cut of pork from snout to tail. Romeo handcrafts each recipe using traditional techniques and features seasonal ingredients and quality livestock sourced from Australia’s leading producers.

Delicious products such as homemade sausages and confits to refined rillettes, pâtés and terrines can be enjoyed by all. From the historic Nantes of the Western Loire region in France to your table, every bite is infused with Romeo’s artisanal heritage.

This commitment to tradition continues to serve as the foundation for all of his creations.

BACKGROUND

Romeo Baudouin was destined for a career in the art of charcuterie and traiteur when introduced to these skills through his cousin Didier Bouchereau, a well-known talent in this field in their hometown of Nantes in France for the last 35 years. Didier was the inspiration for Romeo’s future career in this unique choice of trade.

Understanding that a strong comprehension of traditional techniques was the cornerstone for career longevity in this kind of butchery, Romeo applied himself wholeheartedly, rigorously training from 1991-1995. His 1st & 2nd Apprentice Certificate Aptitude Professional were spent at the Charcuterie Traiteur Bouchereau, Le Lion d’Or, St-Sébastien/Loire, France, and 3rd & 4th apprentice Brevet de Maîtrise & Brevet Professional at Charcuterie Traiteur La Parisienne, St-Nazaire, France.

These schools and the years spent there held a great deal of importance with future employers, especially in France, but also England and beyond. Without a strong foundation in theory, trade and practical application it is extraordinarily hard to progress and survive in such a rarefied and competitive industry.

EXPERIENCE

From here Romeo found himself in high demand in London working at Harrods, Oxo Tower Restaurant and Bar and Mirabelle before moving to Sydney in 2000 and taking up residence in establishments such as Restaurant VII, Guillaume at Bennelong and GPO.

In 2004 Romeo went out on his own and opened Les Saveurs de Romeo and for the next four years honed his skills bringing his particular talent to a wider audience which was an expertise rarely seen in Australia.

In 2009 the team from Vic’s Meats enticed Romeo to take part in their groundbreaking new butchery at Victor Churchill to be their resident virtuoso in all things meaty, where Romeo brought retail to a much more refined level of presentation and choice of products. Here word continued to spread further about his delicious sausages, terrines, parfait, rillettes, pâtés and and speciality creations from all around France.

After 9 years at Victor Churchill, creating a renowned reputation amongst providores, chefs and restaurateurs, Romeo is stepping back into his own business again as Owner and Maître Charcutier of Romeo’s Fine Food. Expanding his product line further into Pâté en Croûte, fromage de tête, jambon persillé and many more as well as providing well known and loved creations, Romeo looks forward to bringing his wealth of experience and love of traditional techniques with a fresh approach to your table. We hope you enjoy every morsel!

CHARCUTERIE

The word “charcutier” comes from “Chair cuit” (cooked meat). Formerly pork meat merchants had the sole right to prepare the pig’s flesh, and to trade, either raw or cooked sausages.

Under the Roman emperors, the preparation of pork was elevated to a higher level of refinement through two distinctive methods. The first consisted of serving the whole animal, cooked in such a way that one side was boiled and the other roasted, miraculously without the two styles of cooking being interwoven.

The second and more expensive method was called “Troyenne” where the pig was drained and cooked gently, filled with thrush, beaks, figs, oysters, birds and fish, then sprinkled with wine.

As for the Roman people, the tradition was simplified. Pork was prepared various ways, mainly preserved by chopping and reducing it to pie flesh, mixed with salt, spices and herbs.

In Gaul, pork was the most popular meat produce. Surrounding oak forests were abundant with acorns which the pigs were fond of. They grew quickly and inexpensively on this staple.

From the 5th century, charcuterie sadly lost its importance. The name charcuterie disappeared and melted into the world of butchery. Butchers had the right to kill and sell raw pork, but they did not have the right to prepare it or sell it cooked. It was only the roosters (roasters and roast goose sellers) who had this privilege.

Towards the 14th century, numerous disputes arose between the butchers and the oyers over their mutual rights. This became a feud that lasted several centuries. More complications arose in 1350 with the intervention of pastry cooks. The patissiers envisioned that they had the right to prepare and sell at retail, the same as rotisseurs. Hence, new regulations and difficulties arose within these corporations which allowed butchers, rotisseurs and patissiers the right to exercise old charcuterie methods, but none had inherited the science or traditional methods. This division and the numerous disputes which ensued gave rise to the community of charcutiers saulcisseurs, in 1475

From that moment, the true tradition of charcuterie was born. Half a century later, on July 18, the trade of charcuterie was separated from butchery and given its permanent place in history.

In 1513, King Louis XII, taking into consideration the future influence of charcuterie, allowed people to buy live pigs at the markets of Paris and surrounding areas, to sell on as raw or cooked pork meat.

In 1874 the site reserved for the charcutier at the slaughterhouses of La Villette, Paris, was inaugurated.

In June 1981 the General Syndicate of French Charcuterie which, in 1899 was originally known as the Federation of Charcutiers of France was born. This federation has now become the National Confederation of Charcuterie of France, whose head office now resides in Paris.

Nowadays, Charcuterie also refers to preparations made from poultry, game or other animal meat. For a long time, regional specialties have been obtained by salting processes, different types of cooking, drying and smoking. The mastery of salt and the treatment of the pork for the preservation of flavors is the essence of life and the charcuterie.

There are now more than 400 different varieties of French Charcuterie. This age old and unique art deserves recognition and pride of place as an important gastronomic part in the history of French culture.

Staying true to the heritage and traditions of charcuterie requires much more work, patience and technique than one thinks, and it is in this complexity that ultimately lies its finesse and its value.