there is no Fat Club

Chefs cookin' up something mysterious at Fat Club
Chefs cookin' up something mysterious at Fat Club

We all have heard of the underground dinner sites in DC or the extravagant, secret foodie gatherings in Seattle. All these have the same thing in common–they are “by invitation only” and any other details are vague.

Pittsburgh is no different. Chefs around the city have always that favorite delicacy they want to share or those items that perhaps aren’t ready to serve to the public, and the place to do it is Fat Club.

What’s Fat Club?

Well…What’s the first rule of Fat Club?–You are correct! I can’t talk about it.

What I can tell you is that a few weeks ago when the last gathering occurred, beer pairings were in the minds of the chefs.

there is no Fat Club (*burp*)
there is no Fat Club (*burp*)

Maybe as a final farewell to winter many hearty dishes were featured at this event. Rabbit stew, lamb and pork all had a part in this feast. Chicken cooked in beer and even beef honeycomb (tripe) and pigs’ feet. Pretzels made from scratch shortly before dinner. Pickled, locally picked mushrooms and other veggies. And–of course–incredibly tempting desserts, such as a “car-bomb sundae” with Guinness ice cream and Jameson’s whiskey sauce, tiramisu…and much more. As I said, I really can’t talk about it. But I can’t wait until I get invited to the next one.

10 Replies to “there is no Fat Club”

  1. Could you give me some tips on ordering cuts of meat for a half lamb? I have reserved a half of a lamb from a local farmer.

    Also do you have a recipe for Greek Gyros? Specifically how do they season the lamb for Gyros? BTW, hope you remember me from your class we had a great time. Lois Foster


    1. First of all, you should share information about your lamb farmer. Many people now are going with lamb for their meat. Finding a local source of lamb is a great way to make sure the quality of this meat is everything you would want.

      As far as cuts of meat, well, what do you like to eat/cook? I found a great chart from the National Live Stock and Meat Board. This chart shows you every separate cut of meat you can obtain from a lamb. So, this can be a great start. At the same time, if let’s say you like to cook with more ground meat than any other cut on a regular basis–they can grind up any of these cuts for you.

      Now for a good gyro recipe: the first thing you need is good lamb, and it sounds like you’ve got it. Gyro meat is actually a lamb “meatloaf” that is sliced thin for serving. So you will want ground lamb for this.

      Once you have your ground lamb, let’s say 2 lbs–it’s pretty simple. You will need an onion, four garlic cloves, one tablespoon of dried marjoram, one tablespoon of dried rosemary, two teaspoons of salt (kosher or sea salt, none of that table salt, please!) and a little bit of black pepper. Chop everything as fine/small as you can, mix it all together, and get it ready to cook in the oven just like a meatloaf. The oven should be at 325 F and it should take around an hour to cook. Cook it covered and drain all the fat when it comes out of the oven. Let it rest for a few minutes before you cut into it. Enjoy!


  2. That sounds like fun! Now I just need to figure out how to get a secret invite. Do you need to be a chef to be part of this “club” or is that top secret info?


  3. Thanks for the tips on lamb cuts and the recipe. The farm I am purchasing my lamb is called Hearts of the Meadow located in Tanner WV. Her name is Debbie Martzell contact phone is 304-462-8043. She raises a breed called Coop Worth, this breed has a mild flavor. Enjoy.


  4. Thanks for that. I was looking for a hearty stew recipe to get me through the winter time, and this looks perfect. I found a whole stew recipe site here too that seems to have tons of good stuff, maybe you can get some more inspiration there. Anyway, thanks again, I will bookmark and read more another time 😉


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