Fabrication, as I had previously known it, was reserved for storytelling and knitting sweaters, but in chefs terms, fabrication is butchery and similar seafood preparation.  Our instruction began as a blend of anatomy physiology and US food grading 101, and then we donned our gloves and transformed hunks of meat into the cuts you might normally buy at a grocery store. We debearded mussels, shucked oysters, removed the plastic-like spine from a squid, trussed chickens, tied roasts, and separated flank from loin. We learned about social culinary norms outside the US, and foods that are often not familiar to the American palate, but are mainstays in other culture’s diets. It was a cold, bloody, sandy, slimy adventure reflecting the complexity behind the food we eat.  We tasted the seafood we prepared, simply boiled together for a few minutes, in a “family meal”.  In between each of the protein types we fabricated, we had to fully break down and sanitize the kitchen, and it had taken on a sort of rhythm that comes only with practice and collaboration. After class, I stopped by my younger sister’s apartment to bring her a sampling of our labors, happy to have the unusual ability to pop in to see her on a Saturday evening for a few minutes to share a family meal.  School, an exhausting, pleasure-filled culinary immersion, has indeed fabricated more that just food.

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