NOLS Kenya Grad Cuts his Teeth on Knives

Posted by: Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin on Mar 16, 2010

More than ten years after his NOLS Kenya Course, Joel Bukiewicz now spends his days grinding hunks of steel into decidedly hunky (as in "wow, that James Dean is hunky!") knives with his company, Cut Brooklyn. Cut Brooklyn makes precision cutlery that Joel himself has anointed "the Ferrari of knives." Cut Brooklyn has became pretty darn famous, and not just in the Big Apple. It has been featured on Gastronomista, Yelp, Chow (which has a pretty cool video), the New York Daily News, and the New York Times, just to name a few. Joel's hand-hewn wonders are not just pieces of art, they are pretty darn sharp - I bet they would cut Excalibur right out of its stone!

It is my firm belief that NOLS Kenya inspired Joel to make knives. Here's the connection: Joel admits that the best meal of his life was an orange-glazed lamb dish he ate the afternoon he flew into Amsterdam from NOLS Kenya, and that the reason it was so amazing was that he had just spent three months in the backcountry. Thus was sparked his interest in food and cooking. And how better to serve the chef than to make the ultimate knife? Yup, there's definitely a NOLS connection there.

Congrats Joel. Let NOLS know if you ever want to expand into the field of outdoor knives - I bet you could give the standard issue Bowie knife a run for its money.

Aparna is a NOLS instructor and has been the PR and Marketing Intern, PR specialist, and the Diversity & Inclusion manager at NOLS. She is a founding partner of The Avarna Group (