Talking Shop
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Dario Cecchini, the world’s most famous butcher

Italian butcher Dario Cecchini, center, and local butcher Harvey Gussman talk shop at Guss Meat Co. in Los Angeles. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dario Cecchini at Guss Meat Co., searching for the perfect piece of meat to make bistecca fiorentina, the classic grilled steak of Tuscany. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
You don’t get to be the most famous butcher in the world by being shy. Cecchini takes great joy in his work. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Cecchini takes advantage of the tools at Guss Meat Co. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Cecchini is at home cooking at the Rustic Canyon residence of some friends. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
The fire is moderate enough that it sears a nice crust on the outside but moderate enough to allow the steaks to cook through without burning. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Cecchini puts the finishing touches on steaks by standing them up on the barbecue, balancing them on the flat part of the T-bone. The bone conducts most of the heat and helps keep the meat warm from the inside. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
The beef is grilled until it’s seared on the outside and rare in the middle. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Cecchini chooses spices to use on the various cuts of meat he is cooking at the home of restaurateur and friend Bruce Marder. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Cecchini spices his spalla di maiaile. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Tartara is a Tuscan twist on steak tartar. Though Cecchini would normally use a tougher cut for the dish, this time he has chopped up a gift filet from Harvey Gussman, to which he adds parsley and garlic, paprika and chile, and a lot of olive oil. Then salt and black pepper and a dash of lemon juice, and he’s done. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
A bowl of Cecchini’s tartara, which will be spooned in dollops onto warm crostini(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Host Bruce Marder, left, gets a hug from Dario Cecchini, a butcher who’s equal parts artisan, philosopher and showman. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
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