Meet our Instructors

Jon Gonzales

Jon Gonzales is the founding member of the El Dorado Meat Collective.  After almost 30 years working in engineering and commercial property management, Jon decided it was about time to follow his passion for good food and wine.  In the years before opening the collective, Jon studied cooking with chefs, in books, in his own kitchen, and anywhere he could learn.  His interests took him to Italy where he studied pig butchery, salami making and meat curing techniques with old world butchers.  Jon is a member of the Butcher's Guild and Slow Food Chapter Leader.  In addition to running the EMC, he leads trips to the old world to introduce others to food crafts from the traditional artists.

Francois Vecchio

Francois Vecchio, the Poet of Pork, was born to a family with long traditions in butchery.  He began his own journey in 1958, apprenticing in Switzerland, Italy and France.  After a lifetime of working in butchery shops, large and small, consulting with commercial meat producers and small butchery start-ups, and writing beautifully expressive books on the subject, Francois is happy to share his knowledge with the next generation of butchers. 

Learn more about Francois' style by viewing the introduction to his video "The Art and Philosophy of Producing Quality Pork".


Kent SchoberleKent

Kent Schoberle has dealt with creatures for most of his adult life, but not always edible ones. He started his career as a technical director, specializing in creature/character animation for blockbuster films. Along the way he decided that his interest and passion lay elsewhere - in real creatures, how they are raised, butchered, and cooked in the best possible way. Kent spent almost four years with Ryan Farr at 4505 Meats as Lead Butcher in San Francisco, recently departing in late 2013.  Kent headed north to Petaluma to help establish Thistle Meats, a whole animal butchery and charcuterie shop, where he serves as butcher and helps to manage the overall business.  Kent’s primary interests start with education, both teaching and learning, and involvement with the farms that raise the animals.

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell's career in butchery began over twenty years ago in an independent meat market in Monterey, CA. Fortunate to learn from skilled craftsmen, Mike gained a solid education in whole carcass butchery and acquired a wealth of old time presentations rarely seen today. Parallel and intersecting Mike's career in butchery have been his years as a chef, where inventive butchery and utilization continue to provide unique and profitable platings. Today Mike works as a Chef Instructor with the Arts Institute of California-Sacramento and as a butcher with Corti Brothers Market.

Gracie Schatz

Gracie Schatz is a farmer, teacher and contract butcher. Her love for meat began in Italy where she worked raising heritage pigs, and learning about the craft of meat curing while indulging in the finest prosciutto in the world. She then moved to San Francisco where her insatiable appetite for high quality meat led her to the Fatted Calf and then to Avedano's where she was fully trained in beef, pork and lamb butchery. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierras working as a farmer and educator. She wants nothing more than to share her passion and knowledge of whole animal butchery and help all people gain access to high quality, well raised meat. 

Analiesa Gosnell

Analiesa Gosnell has been involved with agriculture and food for the majority of her life, from raising small and large livestock in 4-H to graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Agricultural Business.  After a short career in Corporate America she opened two restaurants, but her meat love affair began while working at a prominent Bay Area farmer’s market meat stand, selling cuts and educating customers about good, honest meat - how it’s raised, slaughtered, processed, and how it should be prepared.  Her interests led her to a butchery apprenticeship in New York and subsequently a job at Café Rouge Meat Market in Berkeley. 
Analiesa and her partner John are are owners of Clove & Hoof Butchery and Restaurant, proud member of the Butcher’s Guild, in Oakland, CA.


Bill MccannBill

Bill Mccann has over forty years of varied experience as a butcher.  Bill got his start at a small Oregon processing facility back in the day when a good part of the food in this country was locally sourced.  In the years between he has had the good fortune of working real masters of the trade.  In 2010, Bill went to Terra Madre in Italy as a Slow Food delegate.  While in Europe he spent time visiting butcher shops in France and Italy.  Today he works at The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley where he serves as the lead butcher on the team.  Aside from his job as a butcher Bill also teaches classes at the shop, in restaurant kitchens in the Berkeley area, including Chez Panisse, and for The El Dorado Meat Collective.  Bill has worked in the old school shops of his youth, in wholesale, for supermarkets, and twenty years in business for himself.  His style of teaching is to go slow and to keep things as simple as possible.

Heather Marold ThomasonHeather

Heather Marold Thomason came to butchery with a desire to bridge the gap between sustainable livestock farmers and consumers in search of healthy meat. Heather learned to raise pastured animals from birth to slaughter and began to practice whole animal butchery at North Mountain Pastures, a small family-owned farm in Pennsylvania with a 300 member Meat CSA. She's been butchering for 2 years now and is an active member of the Butcher's Guild, an organization founded on the concept of building community and sharing resources among whole animal butchers. We were luck to work with Heather while she was living in the Bay Area and working as a butcher at The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley.  Heather recently returned to her roots in Pennsylvania -- she is already missed!