Worth Replacing: A good chef’s knife

September 22, 2008

It seems obvious to me, a trained chef, that to cook efficiently and without frustration you need a good knife. Yet, so often when I visit friends’ homes, I see them struggling with terrible cutting tools. I don’t understand why. Sure knives are expensive but buy a good one when you’re 25 and it will still be in ready to cut through a squash when you’re too old to chew solid food.

I started my cooking career with a 12-inch (30-cm) Henckel chef’s knife with a black lacquer handle that sandwiched an inner core of steel. I used that knife all day long, every workday for about 10 years. It was a great knife during that time and it still gets used daily in our test kitchen. These days I use the Kasumi knife pictured above to prepare meals at home. It was a gift from my man with a pan and I love it. Smaller than my Henckel, it’s super lightweight and holds its edge well after being steeled.

I’ve written about knives here before and you can read my cutting edge advice (sorry, couldn’t resist!) advice by checking back a few months to this post.

I also recommend you address knife questions to Peter Hertzmann. He wrote the authoritative book Knife Skills Illustrated. To say he knows about knives is like saying that Britney Spears knows about bad press.

FYI: the latest issue of my quarterly online newsletter Topline Trends is now live and ready for your eager eyes. If you haven’t already, subscribe to Topline Trends so that you never miss an issue!