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Anthony Puharich comes from a long line of butchers, yet Anthony is not your traditional butcher.
Wholesaler of quality meat to Australia’s finest restaurants; co-owner of Victor Churchill, the “Bulgari of butcheries”; driving force behind Vic’s Meat Market Day; and the voice behind Ask the Butcher, an iPhone application designed to demystify cooking meat at home and soon-to-be a Foxtel TV show; Anthony has dedicated his career to promoting the people and produce that are the backbone of Australia’s meat industry.
Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, which he established with his father Victor Puharich 16 years ago, has become Australia’s leading distributor of quality meat. The father and son team are a formidable pair, combining artisanal skills (Victor is a fourth generation butcher and has worked in butchery for over 40 years) with business acumen (Anthony is a university graduate in Finance and Economics).
They both have a tangible commitment to quality produce. Renowned for their work with traditional methods of dry-ageing and their state-of-the-art facilities in Mascot, Vic’s Premium Quality Meat are respected for what they do as much as the producers and chefs they work with, supplying meat to 80% of the top restaurants in Australia and selling over 20 tonnes of meat per day.
Innovation and communication have guided Anthony’s career. In August 2009 he opened Victor Churchill in Woollahra. The award-winning butchery, widely considered the new benchmark around the world for meat retailing, has also become a destination for international foodies, receiving praise from the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Fergus Henderson and AA Gill.
“While I hold strongly to the traditional values and methods of the industry,” says Anthony, “my goal is to always approach it from a more unconventional, innovative angle. Victor Churchill is the perfect example of this. I promised myself that if I was to ever do a retail butcher shop it would be unlike anything else in the world.”
Victor Churchill draws inspiration from the best European butcheries alongside elements of theatre, art and luxury boutique. However, at its core, it adheres to some very traditional concepts of service, the sense of trust, knowledge and camaraderie that distinguishes the traditional butcher shop.
Anthony holds a unique position in the Australian food chain, he links the farmer and the chef. Over the years he has developed an incredible understanding of what is required for a producer to be the best: animal husbandry, breed, regional differences. It is the friendships Anthony has forged with both chefs and producers that sets Vic’s Premium Quality Meat, Victor Churchill and now Ask the Butcher apart from the competition.
Charismatic, energetic and down-to-earth Anthony is excited to take viewers on his journey with his Ask the Butcher program, teaching them everything there is to know about meat.