cooks at home
Family and food inspire Reno meat guru and entrepreneur Ed Ferencik.
WRITTEN BY BARBARA TWITCHELL
PHOTOS BY CANDICE NYANDO
Ed Ferencik stands at his kitchen counter, happily chatting about his favorite subject. He uses words like “passion” and “enamored” over and over again. So often, in fact, that he just might be mistaken for a romance writer. Not even close.
Ferencik’s passion is meat. Grilled, smoked, broiled, barbecued, marinated, cured, processed — you name it, he’s prepared it. And loved every minute of it!
With more than 30 years of wide-ranging experience in the meat industry (“… doing literally everything from ranch to table, except the ranch part,” he says with a chuckle), Ferencik has a scope of knowledge few others can offer.
He has skillfully applied this know-how to create several diverse and flourishing business ventures. As a result, Ferencik, who refers to himself as “an old butcher,” can now add inventor, entrepreneur, teacher, and restaurateur to his ever-expanding résumé.
Necessity spawns invention
After moving to Reno in 2003, Ferencik was debilitated by a medical condition, which forced a major lifestyle change. Suddenly his wife, Laura, became the primary wage earner, and he became a stay-at-home dad, caring for the couple’s three boys. It was challenging at first, but the Ferenciks now agree it was a blessing in disguise.
One day, while cleaning out some old files, Ferencik came across the sketch of a kitchen tool he had designed about 25 years earlier. It was an ingenious device that not only tenderized meat, but also facilitated absorption of seasonings and marinades. Now with time on his hands, he developed, patented, and trademarked the design. The Impressor became a reality and the start of a new business.
He has been his own boss ever since — inventing, designing, developing, and marketing his kitchen tools through his online business, Butcher’s Kitchen, and other local and national venues, including Amazon.
Ferencik also discovered his passion for teaching others and sharing his vast knowledge of proper meat selection and preparation. He regularly offers classes such as Be Your Own Butcher through Nothing To It! Culinary Center in Reno.
Home on the range
Thirteen years of cooking all of the family meals have served as an inspiration to him personally and professionally, Ferencik says.
“I am always expanding my cooking knowledge, developing recipes, and getting ideas for different cooking tools,” he says.
But, more importantly, the evening meal has been the glue that bonds this family.
“That has always been an important part of our lives,” Ferencik says. “We had a full dinner, at the dinner table, every night.”
There’s little doubt that this ritual had quite an impact on their boys. Though now grown, they still maintain close family ties. In fact, Ferencik and his two oldest sons have recently opened a restaurant, Butcher’s Kitchen Char-B-Que, in South Reno. Laura and their youngest son regularly help out at the restaurant as well, making it a true family affair.
“I’m living my passion, doing what I love,” Ferencik says, “and I’m doing it with my sons and my wife. What could be better?”
Reno writer Barbara Twitchell shares the Ferenciks’ belief in the importance of the family meal. In fact, she says her own children were raised with the pleasant nightly ritual of a candlelight family dinner.
(courtesy of Ed Ferencik. Should marinate 5 to 8 pounds of meat)
This is an excellent marinade for poultry, lamb, and pork.
½ cup vinegar – wine or balsamic
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh mint (substitute rosemary, if desired)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
½ tablespoon sea salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
½ cup olive oil
Combine vinegar, lemon juice, water, and spices in mixing bowl. Whisk in olive oil.
If using Impressor Piercing Blades, evenly pierce all surfaces of meat once. (This step ensures optimal results, but marinade is an excellent flavor enhancer, even without benefit of this kitchen tool.)
Place meat in bowl or resealable plastic bag (allows you to marinate more meat than bowl method) and thoroughly cover with marinade. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes if using Impressor to prepare meat. Without Impressor meat preparation, increase marinade time to 4 hours or over night. Grill or oven roast until meat is done to your liking. Note: Impressor meat preparation will allow meat to cook faster, so check often.