The Most Mind-Boggling Culinary Skills, in GIFs

From hand-pulling noodles to flinging roti, these rare food-world talents will blow you away.

  • Noodle puller, Chinatown, NYC. Look at that noodle dough twist and twirl around and around. This GIF comes from a Super Taste in NYC's Chinatown.
  • Pastor carver, Los Angeles. Just a flick of the wrist is all it takes to set a piece of pineapple free and flying onto the waiting taco at
  • Pizza dough twirler, Toronto. If this Toronto-based pizza twirler's parents ever told him not to play with his food, he clearly didn't listen. And it's a good thing, too, or he wouldn't have been catapulted to GIF fame and pizza stardom. It may inspire you to whip up a batch of dough with which to practice—just don't try it with an already sauced pizza.
  • Roti maker, India. Roll, bang, toss, repeat—this dude is more accurate than Tom Brady.
  • The bartending bump. This GIF makes you wonder: How many bottles had to die in a blaze of shattered glory before this bartender mastered the bump? But master it he did. Look at that deft elbow movement—it's like a chicken dance with alcohol (a scenario that would have made a lot of bat and bar mitzvahs a lot less awkward).
  • Shawarma master, Anapa, Russia. Is this guy a shawarma king or a jedi master? Just look at those knife skills!
  • Naan maker, India. Naan, an oven-baked flatbread, is a staple of Indian cuisine. Its yeasty, savory taste and light, fluffy texture makes it the perfect vehicle for any number of sauces. This street-vendor in India doesn't waste any time as he prepares these flatbreads for baking in the tandoor.
  • Ice cream maker, Phuket. Watching these ice cream rolls being made in Phuket, Thailand is about as satisfying as it gets. The liquid freezes quickly on a cold stone and then gets rolled up into shaved perfection.
  • Taco maker, Tijuana. There's no hard evidence that these are actually the world's fastest made tacos (or even the fastest in Tijuana, where it was filmed), although that is what the YouTube video suggests. But the flip at the end is still pretty impressive. Wouldn't it be great to be able to do this as you serve your guests carnitas tacos at a dinner party?
  • Fruit peeler, Bankok. This Bangkok street vendor would be great to have around when you're making an apple pie for Thanksgiving.  Imagine how much time you'd save on peeling...
  • Crepe maker, Majorca. This pancake maker moves in a similar fashion to Steve Martin's and Dan Akyroyd's Czech characters, the
  • Noodle puller, Xi'an, China Like a ribbon dancer at the Olympics, this mystery man embodies grace and elegance. But he, unlike the leotard-clad athletes, can eat his props after his performance.

If there were an Olympic event called “Making Food in the Quickest, Most Amazing Way Possible,” these skilled men and women would all be gold medal contenders. From hand-pulling noodles to slicing slivers of pineapple off the top of a trompo for al pastor tacos, these masters are deft with their hands in ways that would make the karate kid look like a trapeze artist whose fingers are coated in butter.

To celebrate the highly specific skills of these street vendors, chefs, and bartenders, we made some GIFs so you could marvel at their magic in slow-motion. This seems like the appropriate time to say “don’t try this at home,” but we can’t promise we’d take our own advice.

Click through the gallery to see GIFs of the 12 most mind-boggling restaurant skills around the world.


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