By JADE SHOJAEE |PUBLISHED: October 19, 2017 at 6:00 am | UPDATED: October 19, 2017 at 8:06 am
OAKLAND — Scott Brennan opened the doors to The Fifth Quarter Charcuterie at 6464 Moraga Ave. in Montclair on Oct. 14. Not for the faint of heart, the shop intrigues locals with artisanal meats, a variety of cuts and a guarantee of sustainably-farmed products. Items range from pâtés, bacon, kefta and meatballs, to smoked meats and prepared foods like chili, cassoulet and duck confit.
“Everything is pasture-raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free and sustainably and humanely raised,” said Brennan. He is particularly smitten with the pigs he gets from Riverdog Farm in the Yolo County town of Guinda that enjoy leftover produce grown on the farm and occasionally a bit of Three Twins ice cream. Brennan notes that the animals’ diet can make or break the quality of the meat.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Brennan developed his passion for butchery and charcuterie during his time at the Westwood Country Club in Missouri, where he experimented with the unused cuts of meat left behind by hobbyist hunters.
“A lot of the club members would go on hunting trips and bring back wild game like pheasant, duck and deer, and they would just want one meal out of it, so they would leave the rest for us,” said Brennan. “Me and one of the sous chefs would stay after work and make turkey and summer sausage and all kinds of smoked meats.”
That is when Brennan traveled to the Bay Area to visit his brother, who took him for dinner at Cafe Rouge and, says Brennan, that was it for him.
“They had the butcher shop in the back, and that’s when I decided that when I was done with culinary school, I was going to move out here. I wanted to get a job at Cafe Rouge, and that’s what I did.”
Brennan says it was Cafe Rouge where he really developed his skills and invented what is famous among Berkeley farmers market-goers, the homemade hot dog — “It really took off.”
Brennan assures that these hot dogs will make their way onto The Fifth Quarter menu very soon. Patrons can also look forward to homemade corn dogs, outdoor seating, a beer and wine bar and a series of butcher classes that will be offered to the public within the next year or so.
So far, the shop has been very well received by the community, many of whom have been fans of Brennnan’s charcuterie since he started selling at local farmers markets.
“I’m very happy to welcome Scott and the Fifth Quarter to the Village; he is a most welcome addition and adds to Montclair Village’s wonderful retail offerings,” said Jeff Diamond, president of the Montclair Village Association and owner of Farmstead Cheeses and Wines. “Now I can find great quality meats locally and don’t have to drive too far to do so.”
“We’re just here to make good food and serve the community,” said Brennan. “I want to be a staple to the neighborhood.”
If you go
What: The Fifth Quarter Charcuterie
Where: 6464 Moraga Ave. in Oakland
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.