As I was creating clean, easy fillets of fish, my teacher hovered over my shoulder slightly nodding his head, saying “you’re pretty good at this.” I hadn’t squirmed when I killed my first Lobster; I just gave it a clean slice through its head–better to kill it quick than to cry and scream while it suffered.
So moving on to chicken, duck, beef, and veal, the knife still followed the bone and kept producing lovely cuts of meat. As I was tying a roast with clean, precision knots and wiping the scraps and other animal remnants off my board my teacher was again over my shoulder this time commenting, “you like this, don’t you” which as he said it was more of a statement than a question. At which point I paused, knife firmly gripped in my right hand, my left hand steadying a large beef loin. Yes, I did enjoy it, much to my consternation.
I am not a big red meat eater but there is something so fascinating about working with ingredients from scratch. I like knowing where my food comes from. I like handling these dinosaur cuts and with a Dexter-esc gleam in my eyes I finished my cuts, tied my roasts, frenched my bones, and smiled thinking “Hey, I’m kinda cool here with my knives.” And that is one heck of a way to finish my second week of culinary school.