Supplied by Slagel

Appears in the January 2021 issue.

If you have eaten Altiro’s skirt steak tacos, burgers from Craft Urban, or the Vistro’s fried pork sandwich, you have experienced the handiwork of LouisJohn Slagel. The livestock farmer from Fairbury, Illinois, has been integral to Chicago’s restaurant industry since 2007, when he started focusing on suppling businesses in the city and suburbs.

“I picked up a copy of Chicago magazine and started reading restaurant reviews,” says Slagel. “After cold-calling chefs there were a couple of guys who were excited about buying local meat products.”

Now Slagel Family Farm has over 150 Chicagoland customers. From live animal to delivery, the process takes anywhere from two days to two weeks. “It depends on the species,” says Slagel, “but I have lambs and goat on the farm today that will be in the kitchen tomorrow.”

Photo by Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune