Some might say it was destiny. That's certainly the way it seems for Sausage Craft Founder, Chris Mattera. "Sausage making is a legacy in my family, passed down to me over generations", says Chris. “My great grandfather was born in Italy, where sausage is as much a science as it is an art."
"Growing up, my father would tell me the same stories his father told him as a child; about my great-grandmother's weekly trips to the local butcher shop, wine in hand. The butcher would blend the wine with pork and other spices, and stuff the meat into fresh casings for my grandmother to take home. She would hand the ropes off to my grandfather, who would hang them by the fireplace for drying and smoking. As a child, I remember going to visit my grandparents, and they would recreate the sausage recipes from their childhood. We would sit around the table for hours, eating and talking. There was so much joy.”
Over the years things changed, as they often do. Chris and his family moved to Virginia, and family gatherings grew infrequent. “I remember missing the taste of home”, Chris said. That is, until his family gave him a meat grinder for his 12th birthday. From that moment on, Chris was determined to recreate the European style recipes so near and dear to his heart. A passion that, unknown to him at the time, would determine the trajectory of his life.
Chris went on to earn a Diplome de Cuisine at the world-renowned Cordon Blue Paris, before heading to Tuscany to study under a 4th generation butcher. "I remember standing in the butcher shop looking out over the Tuscan Valley. The connection between the land, the livestock and the food were rooted in tradition. Tuscany taught me what it meant to be a good steward of the earth and appreciation for the resources it provides. I realized my responsibility as a Chef went beyond making great tasting sausage. It also meant respect for the animals and the environment".
After finishing school, Chris returned to the states with a mission to bridge the farm to fork gap by crafting clean-label sausages that also taste good. In 2010, his years of experience culminated in the grand opening of Sausage Craft. Properly named after the company’s mission to create small batch, artisanal recipes made with certified humane pork and the best possible ingredients.
Today, their fresh sausages can be found in eateries from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. From local pubs to five-star resorts, their customers have come to rely on the better-for-you sausages that balance flavor with sustainable food choices.