Meet Strauss Executive Chef Todd Moore
I came to the kitchen later in life than most. Initially, I went to school on the West Coast and then found myself back in the Midwest working in the tech industry. I was traveling frequently, spending a lot of time in airports and new cities by myself.
To pass the long hours, I started reading about food culture and history, checking out neighborhoods and restaurants in whatever city I happened to be in. The more I read and visited the more places I visited, the more intense my interest in food became.
On an extended stay back home in Chicago, I made the decision to enroll in culinary school and focus on cooking as a career. While in school I was introduced to a notable chef in Chicago who embraced the “farm-to-table” ethos well before it became a popular movement. While apprenticing in his kitchen I learned the importance of sourcing the best regional and seasonal ingredients, including meats. Strauss veal and lamb, were often features on our menu.
I continued cooking for years, working in different restaurants with different concepts, but one thing remained the same- Strauss meats were almost always on the menu.
While probably new to many consumers, Strauss has been the protein of choice for professional chefs. Strauss has always delivered a consistently high-quality product. Their brand was a hallmark for high raising standards and expert butchery in the kitchens I was mentored in. Randy and Tim Strauss’ passion for animal welfare and sustainability speak to the heart of chefs in kitchens where transparency is a key aspect of their cooking philosophy.
Eventually, I was offered a chef position at a classic French bistro on the bluffs of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Once again, Strauss was on the menu. The Strauss family were frequent patrons of the restaurant, and through their visits we became friends.
As I learned more about the history of the company – the care that goes into livestock sourcing, the humane raising standards and the overall integrity of the company – the more I became interested in how good food gets to the table.
My passion soon lead me in a new direction – responsible sourcing. This new interest compelled me to start a very ambitious business with very modest resources – sourcing heritage breeds of livestock for other chefs, all raised in Wisconsin’s famed Driftless Area. The goal was to put the best meat on the best restaurant tables in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison.
The Strauss family was supportive of my new path and helped mentor my business, knowing how challenging it was. It was because of and thanks to their encouragement and belief in my passion that I ultimately joined the Strauss team in the winter of 2016.
Working as the Executive Chef at Strauss has provided me the opportunity to work with chefs nationwide and educate them on them on the importance of knowing where and how their food was raised. Even more importantly, I get to educate them on how those methods are better for the cattle, better for the earth, and better for us.
In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to sharing some of my culinary experiences working with chefs and farmers across the country. I will also be sharing my favorite tips on how you can make chef-quality meals in your home kitchen.
Until next time – bon appétit!
About the Author
Todd Moore has been a chef in some of America’s award-winning restaurants, including Chicago’s Blackbird, Longman & Eagle, and Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee. He elevated his guests’ experience by directly sourcing produce as well as procuring and serving the freshest local meats possible. After years in the kitchen, Todd co-founded a boutique meat company focused on sourcing heritage breeds of beef and pork for foodservice customers in Chicago & Milwaukee. He then joined Strauss Brands to further his career and passion for high–quality sustainably–raised meats.