G.E Gastronomy Extra|Ordinaire
- Words and photos by Carla Capalbo
PROLOGUE: BUTCHER’S BOY
In a cold butcher’s shop in the north of Italy, a small boy silently trims the fat from a side of beef larger than himself. His father, the village butcher, is a formidable character and the boy works, though his fingers are numb with cold. He doesn’t complain because he is scared of his father on the one hand and too proud to give up the work on the other, despite the freezing conditions.
“My father was a butcher, a very tough one, as tough as steel. Being an old style man, he was full of blood like a fresh liver… I am honest to say that when I was young, I was sad, full of tears, because I did not understand him… My father had everything prepared for his customers… Every single detail was well looked after… He knew the customers and their preferences well… He sold without pressure but with class and elegance. He knew everything (e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g) about meat… The whole selling process was a show of respect for both parties… Today I’ve accepted the way he was because I now understand him through the passage of time and the experience I have gained. Actually, ‘I am my father’.”