Bon Appétit has become a paragon of food media lately with a gorgeous magazine, a wonderful podcast and some serious web content that is standing in where other outlets have stopped putting meaningful content in front of audiences. But they have quietly rolled out a series of videos on highly technical food crafts that are so well done, so well produced and so sharply executed that they serve as both educational content and an opportunity to truly marvel at people who have spent a lifetime perfecting their skills. Bon Appetite really deserves credit for providing a venue to showcase such talent and expertise.
In these videos you can learn how to butcher a pig, beef primal, and a whole lamb, to take apart a whole tuna, and to make pasta by hand. Or rather you can see how an expert does so. I think the unmissable idea is that there is a certain kind of knowledge preserved in these videos: to really learn how to do these things, it would simply take time and repetition and the absolute commitment to the task. You can see this in the hands that are moving so intuitively in each of these videos that there is a special kind of knowledge that resides in the hands of true craftspeople.
This artfulness is, perhaps, most in view in the most recent video in which Shuichi Kotani demonstrates how to make soba noodles by hand. Unsurprisingly, this seems like a much more simple task than it is, but what appears on screen is so subtly full of craft and instinct that it also serves as a lesson in what expert hands really look like. I'm not sure I will even endeavor to make soba in the way that Shuichi Kotani does, but every time I watch this video, the world somehow makes a little more sense. Perhaps one day, I will be able to manage to bring such expertise to the objects of my own craft. One can always aspire.