When Monika Frison first heard about local natural meat market Ranch Foods Direct she was interested right away. "Part of what led me here is I love meat," she says. "Local, well-treated animals, no antibiotics, no hormones - that totally drew me in." Monika's helping hand with the butchery, meal prep and sou-ved cooking in the store's commercial kitchen is accompanied by her infectious grin and obvious enthusiasm. Here's more about Monika's interests and background:
WHERE ARE YOU FROM? My dad was in the Air Force, so we moved around a lot, but I've been here in Colorado Springs for 12 years now.
DESCRIBE YOUR BACKGROUND IN FOOD: From about the age of 10, I was in the kitchen with my mom, making meals, baking whole chickens, cooking green beans or whatever. I went to school for psychology but decided that was not the route I wanted to take. I wanted to be happy in life, and it just wasn't for me. At that point, I got into food. I worked at a little café, and after two weeks, the owner handed the kitchen over to me and said, here, we need soup! I've also done a little bit of baking at a commercial bakery too.
WHAT'S YOUR IMPRESSION OF RANCH FOODS DIRECT? I love it here! It's great to get back working with meat as opposed to baking. Everybody who works here is great, the customers are friendly, and I'm happy to be able to supply good food that's made with good ingredients that will actually nourish people.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT WORKING WITH MEAT THAT APPEALS TO YOU? It's just fun for me. My mom jokes that when she was pregnant with me, her doctor told her to eat meat in order to lose her baby weight faster. This was 28 years ago, and that's the advice they were giving back then. So I've always loved it, from the very beginning. If the meat is raised properly and doesn't have all the extra stuff you're getting when you shop at the bigger grocery supermarkets, it's a lot healthier. Everything in moderation. Control your portion size and make sure you get a healthy portion of fruit and vegetables, and you'll be good. You definitely don't have to cut meat out to be healthy.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND NEW RECIPES? I experiment and shop around. I don't just look at one recipe. I'll look at several and combine the good and bad, and take that along with what I've experienced. So it's a lot of experimentation. For anybody who is looking into cooking at home, just get into it! Have fun; don't be afraid to mess up.
NAME ONE UNUSUAL RFD MEAT CUT YOU'VE DISCOVERED AT RFD: The beef bacon