John Maxwell at The Butchers of Distinction

The Butchers of Distinction are Steven Caldwell, Henry Traynor, Ponniah Vijeyaratnam and John Maxwell. Mr. Maxwell, regular GFR readers will know, is the proprietor of Allen’s on The Danforth, and Chef Vijeyaratnam and Manager Caldwell are as are as tied to its epicurean reputation as he. Mr. Traynor, is also linked to Allen’s, but in a somewhat more removed way: he is a farmer who raises beef cattle, which find their way, more often than not, on the menu there. (Mr. Maxwell also raises a small herd of beef cattle.) Together, these four men have opened a new craft butcher shop at start of the Queen East strip, just a few doors down from Broadview.

In the video below, John Maxwell explains why The Butcher’s of Distinction is, in fact, distinct from most other shops: all the meat (from happy, well cared for animals) they sell is displayed according to breed. Their customers can compare, for instance, the difference between a ribeye steak cut from Mr. Traynor’s Limousin cows or Mr. Maxwell’s Dexter cows. Or, as I had occasion to do the other night, the difference between a loin chop from a Tamworth and a Berkshire pig.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

The butcher’s of Distinction is located at 738 Queen Street East in Toronto and their telephone number is (416) 466-9191.

Allen’s on The Danforth is a certified Good Food Fighter. Please support the businesses and organizations that support Good food Revolution.

Malcolm Jolley is a founding editor of Good Food Revolution and Executive Director of Good Food Media, the company that publishes it. Follow him at