Meet the Tutor with Clinton Bonner


Clinton Bonner, leader of our Sausage Making Course and The Whole Hog Traditional Butchery Demo, talks about his butchery career and the importance of educating people about the butchery industry.

How many years have you been in the butchery trade?  I started at 18 and went to Smithfield College of Food Technology in London for 3 years.

How did you enter the trade and how have you seen it change over the years?
My father owned the shop and I had always thought it seemed hard work. I had been his Saturday boy working in shop from the age of 14. I was going to be a dentist at Guys University, but failed my A level Physics twice, so my dad said work in shop while you decide what you are going to do and I've been here ever since.

Yourself, and staff from Bonners of Ilminster, have been leading Sausage Making classes at Frogmary Green Farm over the last few years - what do you enjoy most about teaching at cookery courses?
We love the interaction with the people on the courses. It's not meant to be too serious and you can have a giggle. It always reminds me of an excerpt from - for those who are young enough - The Generation Game.

You’ll be back at Frogmary in April leading the new The Whole Hog Traditional Butchery demonstration. Can you tell us a little about what to expect?
The Whole Hog Demo is a new line for us. As butchers we sometimes take for granted what the public knows. This demo will show where various cuts of pork come from and how it's prepared for retail sale. We also hope to give some cooking ideas and tips, all with a bit of banter included. Then, a Pork & Apple burger and a glass of wine to finish - perfect!

Why do you think it is important to share your knowledge of butchery and the meat trade?
If we are not careful, there will be a generation that will have never experienced shopping at a butchers. We try to correct this by making the consumer more aware of what they are buying and giving a service and access to knowledge that supermarkets can only dream of.

Bonners Butchers has a wonderful list of accolades and awards to it’s name. What do you contribute to the success of the business? It's simple; GOOD STAFF and GOOD MEAT.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
It's definitely not the early mornings! No one day is ever the same, the camaraderie between other butchers is amazing and we all help each other. In the end though, it is being able to supply great produce to people who appreciate what we try to do.

TUTOR TOP TIP: Do you have a top tip to share with our readers on butchery skills or a cut of meat that they might not have considered buying before?  
The best cuts of meat are sometimes the cheapest, if cooked correctly. Shoulder of pork and lamb are fantastic. The most tender and tasty cut of meat, which is never really mentioned, is ox cheek - cooked slow and braised, nothing better!

To learn more about Clinton and Bonners of Ilminster, visit the website here>