Paul Carras was raised in Land Park, only two blocks from where he is now manager of the renowned Taylor’s Market meat department. “I began at Taylor’s as a clean-up kid when I was 16,” he said. “At 18, they put a knife in my hand.”
“I fell in love with butchering in college, half-way to my B.A. in communications” at Sacramento State University. He doesn’t consider it really hard work, but it is physically demanding. “You have to be healthy and physically fit because of the long hours and lifting heavy objects.”
He has invested in good pairs of clogs and wears compression stockings to avoid a sore back and muscles. “Sometimes at holidays I work 15-hour days.”
Carras is a home cook who continually tries out various recipes with the lamb, pork, beef, rabbit and poultry for which Taylor’s is famous.
His go-to recipe: “35-day, dry-aged, double-cut, frenched beef rib-eye. I salt and pepper heavily, sear both sides and finish in the oven or on indirect heat on the BBQ.”
Some of the fun of being a butcher, Carras says, is when people come in and ask for a cut of meat found elsewhere, such as Argentina or Texas. “Someone comes in and asks for a cut the way their grandmother used to do, and so I do it.”