Ethan Becker is a true Renaissance Man. His mother Marion edited the Joy Of Cooking cookbook for decades, and after attending the Cordon Bleu in Paris he took over the job in 1974. He’s also an avid outdoorsman and the inventor of the CMI Figure 8 mountain climbing descender. And a world-class knife designer.
By happy coincidence I happen to own The Joy Of Cooking, as well as a CMI Figure 8 descender and a Becker BK-9 knife. And yesterday I crowned this trifecta by meeting the man himself at the SHOT Show, getting his thoughts on the BK-9 and Portland’s Hawthorne Knife Shop, and buying a knife from him.
Before buying a D’Eskabar, I shamelessly pronounced myself a fan of his many works (which I am) and even showed him my short preview article of the BK-9 short sword I picked up a few months ago. I told him I had one major problem with the BK-9, which was that in my ordinary suburban life I couldn’t find a task big enough for it.
He confided that while some knives are ‘less than the sum of their parts’, he has always been particularly happy with how well the massive BK-9 turned out. He also confirmed a vague rumor that he is actually relocating to the Portland area, so there’s a better than even chance I’ll run into him again.
Mr. Becker is a truly gracious fellow, and I’m grateful to have met him. I know he’ll keep designing knives, and I hope our paths cross again after I can test a few more of them.