Rising Star Artisan Ben Runkle of Salt & Time - Biography

Austin, TX

November 2017

Ben Runkle was a vegan before he was a butcher and chef. A Chicago native born to a restaurateur dad, Runkle worked the front of house while studying food politics in college. Working in healthcare policy after graduation, Runkle read Bill Buford’s Heat and decided to steer his career in a more adventurous direction. Runkle became a sponge to the butchery craft. He apprenticed at vertically integrated Marin Sun Farms Butcher Shop in Point Reyes Station, California, and then in San Francisco at Avedano’s Meats and the Fatted Calf.

Moving to Austin in 2009, Runkle began making charcuterie right off the bat, which transformed into the original idea for Salt & Time. Partnering with Butcher Bryan Butler, the duo brought whole animal butchery to Austin with its cases chock-full of Texas-raised meats and charcuterie. As chef, Runkle also develops dishes for Salt & Time’s restaurant menu, and leads sausage making and curing classes. He takes great pride in developing new products that highlight the native fl avors and ingredients of Texas––like his Butcher’s Burger. After seven years of serving Austin delicious meals and sustainable meats, Runkle and Butler are working to expand the reach of Salt & Time to a national audience.