View Full Version : A man, a bench-grinder, a London taxi, and dull knives in Paris

03-08-2015, 10:48 AM
Le Parisiene, 7 March, 2015. Translated from the French

In his beautiful automobile, Marius sharpens knives

"If I took a euro each time someone asked me to take a photo, I would be a billionaire," mused Didier Mouche, alias Marius. It is true that this fifty-year-old man wearing clogs and a beret while at the wheel of his London taxi attracts attention.

For three years Marius has traveled the streets of Paris in his vehicle, sharpening the knives of restaurateurs, butchers, and fishmongers, and also the scissors of hair-dressers. On the doors is the inscription, "sharpener of blades". He prefers the ancient title of "grinder", found on the sign prominently located on the roof. "But that word does not mean anything to people, especially the young," he said regretfully.

It was in 2011 that Didier Mouche made the decision to become Marius, in honor of his grandfather who had taught him to sharpen knives. He was then 51 years old, with more than thirty years spent as a chef.

"I sharpened my knives and those of my buddies," he said. "One day I told myself: I'll sharpen the knives of Paris!"

According to him, his new life was more of a whim than a thoughtful change of direction. "I was very upset that my boss did not believe me able to do what I did," he said. After having resigned his position, Marius went to Gers {central France} to train in the art of sharpening, and then to London where he acquired the English taxi that he uses as a workshop. Different wheels are mounted on a grinder in the rear of the vehicle.

The grinding man holds to modernity in the service of tradition. "When I wear my apron and sabots, you'd think you were in a different era," he muses. "Perhaps that amuses people."

Cyril Lignac {Paris chef and restaurateur} did not contradict him. "When I saw him in his English taxi, I died laughing." Explains the chef, who has regularly called for his services since their first meeting. Prestigious hotels and the Moulin Rouge are also counted among his customers.

"This serves me and supports my Facebook page," comments Marius. "It is the small business that is my livelihood."

Author: Alexandre Arlot




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Paul Alciatore
03-08-2015, 11:16 AM
I love the hood ornament.

Do you have a shot of him working?

03-08-2015, 11:57 AM
His photo page has some inside shots of his workshop but the shots seem intended to not encourage tool thieves.