“My grandfather was a butcher, my father was a butcher and I’m a butcher!”
So starts a great story about a German artisan bringing the best of flavourful European charcuterie and smallgoods to Australia.
Now 45 years spent in the business, Ralf Fink saw everything changing into large scale production and the idea was born to go back to the old style. Using only free range ethically sourced pork, beef and lamb the raw meat is cured with attention to detail in wood fired smokehouses or dry curing room and, using traditional methods, Ralf’s passion and driving force is to produce quality products ….his mantra is meat, spices and tradition!!
Ralf was born near Dortmund and, like the men in his family, became a butcher. In 1987 Ralf was awarded the certificate of Fleishmeister, as was his father in 1960. To get the degree of a Fleishmeister you have to work and study for 8 years and before getting awarded the precious certificate, Ralf had to be assessed for 6 months while passing 28 written and practical exams. Look out for the original certificate in the Castlemaine shop – his and his fathers are displayed as well as a picture of the old shop in Germany. He is very proud to be only 1 of the 6 Fleischmeisters in Australia.
Since migrating to Australia, Ralf has worked for and trained many butchers. In October 2018 Ralf backed himself and, along his wife Raksi, started Oakwood Smallgoods. On a weekday, you can find both him and Raksi in the Castlemaine shop providing friendly service to their valued customers or at a Farmers’ Market on the weekend. Be sure to chat with him about his products and methods; you may be there for a while! If you can’t get enough or want to know how to be a wiz in your own production line at home then sign up for one of Ralf’s courses and learn from the best.