Tuesday, December 4, 2012


New knives!!

Knives?  Possibly my new thing?  I don't know why it took me so long to upgrade my knives but I'm so glad I did.  Better late than never!  No kitchen is complete without a sweet set of knives!

This past week I got hooked up with some fine handmade Japanese knives from Bernal Cutlery in SF!!!!  It's a small shop that sells Japanese, French, and vintage knives and also offers classes on sharpening and knife skills.  The owner, Josh Doland, really knows his knives and the stories behind them.  He will spend plenty of time with you explaining the craft and answering all the questions you may have!

 Japanese knives are expensive and delicate, but they are so sharp that if you slip you just might lose a finger or two, haha.  Just kidding, but they're pretty damn sharp.  These knives are from Sakai City, where most traditional Japanese knives are made.  Supposedly 90% of all professional Japanese chefs use knives made in Sakai.

2. New toys!!!

I'm still learning about these knives and all that it can offer.  But this is what I know so far.

Ashi Hamono 240mm Wa-Gyuto Swedish Stainless Steel
This is the Japanese analog to the typical chef's knife.  The main difference is that the Jap ones have a thinner blade.  This knife is thin, light, easy to sharpen, and have great edge life.  It also has the Japanese handle.  It's a great all purpose knife and I love this for cutting meat, or really anything!  My new favorite knife!!
3. Ashi 240 Gyuto

Sakai Kikumori 165mm Kamagata Usuba
The Usuba is a thin blade vegetable knife.  Usuba literally means "thin blade" so this is great for cutting firm vegetables without cracking them.  The Kamagata just refers to the rounded tip, allowing the knife to do more delicate work, like peeling.  It has a chisel-like appearance.  It's amazing how much more Japanese I can get with cutting veggies!  Either I magically got better at cutting extra thin slices or this knife made it so much easier.. and quicker!
4. Kikumori Kamagata Usuba

5. Kamagata Usuba knife.

Port Orford Cedar Butcher's Block
I was lucky enough to get a prototype of this fancy cutting board!  The wood is a North American species of the Japanese Hanoki.  The Port Orford Cedar makes a great cutting board.  It is nice for cutting because it is dense.  It also doesn't damage the blade since it's soft.  So when you cut on it, the cut marks won't remain.  Instead they close up a bit.  The wood is easy on the edges and holds up really well.  They are in the process of getting this board in production.  Unfortunately, there is no ETA.  I love this cutting board because it's huge and thick making it extra strong and sturdy.
6. big board!

7. thickkkk

Can't wait to expand my knives collection!  I'm thinking about taking one of the classes.  I'd love to learn more about Japanese knife skills on vegetable preparation and garnish.