Butchers: Sex Symbols of the Food World

A once dying art comes back with a vengeance
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2009 11:52 AM CDT
In this April 3, 2009 file photo, Richie Deiser, left, watches as butchers for Lobel's meat shop slice up cuts of meat in New York.   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, file)
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(Newser) – Butchering, once a dying art, is coming back thanks to the demand for local meat—and a new generation of butchers, full of machismo, is emerging. “Think about it. What’s sexy? Dangerous is sometimes sexy, and they are generally big guys with knives who are covered in blood,” one fromager tells the New York Times. With the trade nearly lost, up-and-comers are searching for ways to learn the craft.

“This is a business that takes a lot of training,” says one third-generation butcher who fears self-taught meat cutters are sloppy. But those who are able to gain an apprenticeship and join a boutique butcher shop—like Ryan Farr, who runs workshops on how to break down pigs—are here to stay. “You’re not really in the game if you can’t cut up a pig anymore,” says one chef.