Students slice into forgotten art
March 2, 2010 10:59 AM
On a rainy Sunday afternoon in the hills overlooking San Francisco's Mission district, seven men gathered to try their hands at the "lost art of butchery."
Patiently tucked away in the rear dining hall of Avedano's Meats, the men kindly introduced themselves as they waited for the arrival of their instructor, making their intentions clear.
"I'm here to learn how to cut up meat," said San Francisco resident and prospective butcher Bradley Harger. "My ambition is to go hunt a pig and be able to take care of it."
Harger, like many of his fellow students, was introduced to this course through his friends and family.
"My wife turned me onto it as a Christmas present," Harger explained, "but it always been something I've wanted to try."
Butchery For Adults, as the course is described on the market's website, is a four-hour crash course in carving taught by 26-year-old head butcher and the owner of Avedano's Meat, Tia Harrison.
"I've been teaching this class for about a year and a half," Harrison said, "and I like to see my students walk away with a better understanding of what they're eating."
Though the class offers only a brief glimpse into the world of a professional butcher, it is certainly not for those with weak stomachs.
The course focuses on the preparation and processing of suckling pig and a fully-grown lamb. The students are given a formidable introduction to the basic tools and are given the opportunity to butcher the animals into their respective cuts of meat.
"There's been a resurgence in people wanting to get closer to their food," Harrison said. "I think this class gives people a chance to feel like they're a part of the process that goes into it, something I think we've lost in the in super market age."
Each student who participates in Harrison's class typically walks away with $100 worth of pork and lamb.
"It's a great experience to be able to go home with meat you prepared yourself," said student butcher Eric Boeing, "I've cut up chicken and duck at home before but I'm looking forward to a bigger challenge next time."
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