The culinary landscape is often a testament to the power of passion, heritage, and an unyielding commitment to quality and sustainability. This is the narrative that unfolds as we delve into the story of Elias Cairo, co-founder of Olympia Provisions, and his transformation from a sponsored snowboarder with a penchant for the adrenaline rush of the snowy slopes to a revered maestro in the art of charcuterie. His journey, as discussed in our latest podcast episode, is not just about the crafting of delectable meats but also about building a legacy and fostering a community around a shared love for exceptional gastronomy.

Cairo's roots trace back to the family kitchens of Salt Lake City and the influence of his Greek heritage, where the farm-to-table lifestyle was not just a trend but a way of life. His father's emigration from Greece to the United States brought with it the traditions of the Peloponnese—hunting, farming, and a culture steeped in the appreciation of fresh, homegrown food. It was here, in the family-run Greek American cafes, that Cairo's culinary spark was ignited. But it was his apprenticeship in the Swiss Alps that honed his skills and shaped his philosophy toward food and sustainability. The Swiss mountain ski lodge culture, with its symbiotic relationship between nature and cuisine, played a pivotal role in Cairo's evolution as a chef and artisan, and eventually a world class salumist.

Upon his return to Portland, Oregon, Cairo's entrepreneurial spirit took flight as he embarked on the mission to revolutionize the American charcuterie scene. Olympia Provisions was born out of a desire to create naturally fermented, mold-rich salami that echoed the quality and authenticity of European cured meats. The growth of an empire soon followed, encompassing a production facility and a string of restaurants, each narrating the story of quality meats, family heritage, and community.

The success of Olympia Provisions can be traced to Cairo's unwavering dedication to sustainable practices. From working with a network of trusted farmers to achieve Global Animal Partnership standards to the transparent operations of their production facility, every step underscores the commitment to responsible sourcing and the betterment of the industry. Olympia Provisions stands as a testament to the impact of a business built on ethical principles and the pursuit of culinary excellence.

Eli Cairo's vision for the future is one where his company remains an employee-driven legacy, championing the art of charcuterie and the respect for the entire process—from farm to table. His personal aspirations mirror this ethos, with a life enriched by family, hunting, and continuous culinary exploration. Through his story, listeners are inspired to not only appreciate the complexities of charcuterie but also to understand the profound influence of sustainable practices on the future of the food industry.

The narrative of Eli Cairo and Olympia Provisions, rich with heritage, passion, and an enduring commitment to quality, offers much more than a mere taste of exceptional charcuterie. It serves as a source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and food enthusiasts alike, reminding us that the journey of food is as much about the destination as it is about the flavors experienced along the way.

Elias Cairo
IG: "olympiaprovisions"
IG: "eliascairo"

George Blitch
IG: "thesonofablitch"

George Blitch
"Keep your aim as true as your word" - GB