Call it a culinary time warp—across the country chefs are returning to old-fashioned methods of food preparation. We asked two gun-toting, butcher knife-wielding enthusiasts why reconnecting with our culinary past matters.
It’s a cultural cliché to say that everything old is new again, and yet in the culinary world, that’s never been truer. Food preparation methods that date back to pioneer days (and were born and practiced out of necessity) are currently being resurrected and championed by some of our most forward-thinking cooks.
Not that many generations ago, it wasn’t possible to not know where our food came from (hint: it wasn’t from plastic-wrapped packages at the supermarket). That’s because we were likely actively involved in growing, slaughtering, preserving, and preparing it. Being hungry meant getting busy, like it or not. But in the mid 20th century, that began to change. Convenience foods replaced time-honored recipes and from-scratch cooking, factory farms usurped small family farms, and fluorescent lights and nine-to-five schedules replaced the daily rhythms of the seasons. Are we better off? Two chefs who champion traditional techniques and butchering skills think not. Through hunting and foraging classes, supper clubs, and cookbooks, each seeks to be a guide through our culinary heritage, perhaps tweaked for modern life but best not forgotten.