“I slice it, I wrap it, I bag it, I give it,” says Len Berk, who has been slicing Lox at Zabar’s for the past two decades. At age 65, Berk decided to stop working as an accountant and get into the fish cutting business instead.

Berk says, “When it gets very busy, I feel like a machine. It’s as though my body knows what to do without my brain.”


The octogenarian’s relationship with fish is pretty remarkable. He says running his hand across the fish is a sensual experience every time. “You can say I’m making love to the salmon,” he says.


Watching pro slicers like Berk cut fish is a beautiful experience. It is a true art, and requires a high level of skill. Berk explains,

“The art of slicing salmon is really based on being comfortable with the fish, understanding the anatomy of the fish, and learning the various methods of slicing. I’ve been trying to make the perfect slice for about 16 years now—but I know that I haven’t achieved it yet.”

There’s no rush to greatness; perfection takes time.

[via Grubstreet, Jewish Daily Forward]

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