You are ready, white-clad and dignified, holding your knife. Your aproned torso and steel-gloved hands are prominent.
In the background, dark wooden shelves covered with jars: confits, vegetable preserves, béarnaise mayonnaise, hare pates, potato flakes and local wine bottles.
You handle and feel bright scarlet meats. Your dinner promises to be delicious, and is being looked forward to. You lay Mon Billot on the table, a rare piece, unique and elegant, made of solid wood.
Over your board, you hone the blades theatrically,
You dry your palms on your apron’s harsh cotton, you swipe blade against blade.
You enjoy a well-done job, you care about enhancing things.
From someone who simply likes meat, you grow fond of breathing it in and absorbing it at heart.
On Mon Billot, your hands bend around the rounded flesh, sinking into its thickness, nails, phalanges and veins. The materials, noble wood, tender flesh, mix together, day after day, release in the air molecules that will inflate and fortify your own red blood cells.
In time, driven by your taste for authentic tradition, which you treasure, you come to know all cuts, by touch or by sight, or to color: a ruby rib steak, a vermilion tournedos, a carmine cheek, a scarlet tongue.
But on the chopping block, the touch is paramount: you feel, stroke, knead along the lines of nerves, press the meat flesh against the wood pulp.
You know that the smoother, sharper, finer, glossier the meat grain is, the more savory it will be.
Mon Billot is all about making your task elegant and successful from the first stroke.
Soon, your veal roast will be barded and tied with skilled expertise – “it’s a little bit over, is that OK?”
Meat gently tossed on to the scales, wrapped, weighed, “whose turn is it?”