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Justin Severino

Chef Justin Severino
Photo © Adam Milliron

Restaurant: Cure (Read a review)

Location: Pittsburgh

Why He's Amazing: Because he closed a successful butcher shop in California to open a meat-centric restaurant in Pittsburgh where he butchers and cures everything himself and educates eaters about the provenance of their food.

Culinary School: Pennsylvania Culinary Institute (Pittsburgh)

Background: Elements, Eleven (Pittsburgh); Manresa (Los Gatos, CA); Bouchée Restaurant and Wine Bar (Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA)

Quintessential Dish: Salumi platter (which includes a changing selection of meats such as bresaola, blackstrap ham, goat prosciutto, rabbit rillettes and 'nduja, a spicy, spreadable pork sausage from Italy)

Early Culinary Influences: "I grew up in an Italian family. We ate dinner at home six days a week. My grandmother was a lunch lady at the Catholic high school, and my grandfather was a butcher."

Advice for Home Cooks: "Know where your food comes from. Is it from the US? Is it local? I have a boar's head hanging in the restaurant, and some people thinks that's gross. But when it comes to meat, if you can't look at it, don't eat it. You have to understand that meat doesn't come from a Styrofoam container in the grocery store. It was an animal, and you need to have respect for the animal you are eating."

Educating His Audience: Severino hosts hog-butchering demos at Cure (you watch, he chops) along with a special pork-themed meal one Sunday per month. Check Cure's Events page for upcoming dates and reservations.

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