Brooklynâ€™s new culinary movement – a lot of handmade action and guys with turn of the century beard action, industry is seeping back – and it’s starting with food it seems…
These Brooklynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-making pickles, cheeses and chocolates the way others form bands and artistsâ€™ collectives. They have a sense of community and an appreciation for traditional methods and flavors. They also share an aesthetic thatâ€™s equal parts 19th and 21st century, with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.
Rick Mast, 32, said he and his brother were initially attracted to the borough because it was cheaper than Manhattan. â€œBut now I think the real draw is the creativity,â€ he said. â€œIn Brooklyn, to be into food is do it yourself, to get your hands dirty, to roll up your sleeves. You want to peek in the kitchen in the back, as opposed to being served in the front.â€
The Brooklyn Kitchen carries major brands, but it is the sole retailer for knives from Cut Brooklyn, a local specialty knife maker.
â€œItâ€™s difficult to keep those guys stocked,â€ said Joel Bukiewicz, Cut Brooklynâ€™s owner and solitary employee. â€œItâ€™s like sweeping a dirt floor.â€
Maybe thatâ€™s because Mr. Bukiewicz takes 10 to 12 hours to fashion one eight-inch chefâ€™s knife. In an average week he will make between four and six knives. He first learned how to make hunting knives in Georgia, and started creating kitchen knives in his small Gowanus workshop in 2007.
â€œThereâ€™s an appreciation here for craftsmanship and people who work with their hands,â€ Mr. Bukiewicz said. â€œI had no idea there was going to be this convergence of artists, artisans and food culture in Brooklyn.â€