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Are Butchers the New Rock Stars of the Culinary World?

The New York Times in its July 8 issue this year, called them sexy, young idols, rock stars", and the "emotional equivalent of an indie band." What were they referring to?

Butchers.

Yup, butchers are the new kings of the culinary world, and I think that's awesome.

People are paying thousands of dollars to apprentice with butchers, butchering classes are packed to capacity all over the country, and universities and schools are offering butchering courses. There are tons of YouTube meat butchering and processing how-to videos getting thousands of hits. In fact, a series of YouTube videos of some highly skilled butchers in Argentina, who move with incredible grace and speed, have developed something of a following among viewers.

Who would ever have thought that butchering would become cool?

Personally, I've always been intrigued with butchering and processing my own meat, partly because I grew up doing what has become one of the strongest shifts in the food industry - raising one's own meat in a humane way, and then processing it locally.

We filled a chest freezer or two every year with chickens and ducks we raised and slaughtered ourselves, and venison taken from the woods and fields around our rural home was a year-round part of our diet. Processing was done on the kitchen table.

Famed Chef Gordon Ramsay in his show The F Word, has been one of the most vocal proponents in the food world for raising your own food - and taking responsibility for knowing where your food comes from.

If your only image of Ramsay is the screaming tyrant on his Hell's Kitchen reality show, you'll see quite a different man on The F Word. Check it out on BBCA. In The F Word (here the F word is food, of course, though Ramsay is a master of that other F word as well), Ramsay is a more easy going family man, determined that his several children know where their food comes from and how it gets on the table.

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