Last Tuesday more than 20 people came to 18 Reasons, a food-centric community space affiliated with Bi-Rite Market to sip wine and watch butcher Morgan Maki turn half a pig into a glistening pile of roasts, belly and tenderloin.

Maki, 27, came to butchery via restaurants, where he cooked, made charcuterie and portioned proteins in North Carolina, Massachusetts and Montana. He’s been at Bi-Rite for a year and a half and has happily abandoned the anonymity of the restaurant kitchen for the spot behind the meat case where he has more contact with his customers.

“Having these people has been a really important part of me changing gears in my life and not focusing on trying to produce this really beautiful, perfect food for people who won’t ever know me or care about me,” Maki said. “This job is a lot about community service. 18 Reasons is a lot about helping educate people about what they eat and how they buy their food,” he said.

Maki leads the second part of the pig butchery class, which focuses on curing meat, this Tuesday night. It’s sold out, but Mission Loc@l will bring you a full report later this week. Wannabe butchers stay tuned: Maki teaches knife skills, cooking and butchery at 18 Reasons throughout the year.

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Bridget writes about community groups, non-profits and collectives for Mission Loc@l.

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