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Menchaca in his home workshop, in Bovina.Two years ago I asked Sergio Menchaca, of Texas Sage Forge, to make me an eight-inch chef’s knife. For the blade’s raw material, I sent him the mid-century steel hoof testers that my father, who is now 96, used during his decades as an equine veterinarian and on our mule ranch. The finished product, which features a handle carved from a piece of mottled Texas oak, is now one of my most prized possessions. At the time, Menchaca was a high school principal in the small North Texas town of Bowie (named after Jim Bowie, of bowie knife fame). But at night, in his workshop, Menchaca created custom full-tang culinary knives out of antique high-carbon steel, fashioning the handles from items including antlers and bone, foraged…

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