Basic skills class/ cuts

Joined Feb 24, 2011
I am a first year culinary/pastry student. I am have the hardest time with my basic cuts. I have no problems with tournes, but Batonne and Julianne are my down fall. They are the right length and over all size, but instead of being completely squared off, they are more rectangular. Then when i try to turn them into dice, the sizing is all screwed up. Any hints or tips are welcomed.....


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Sounds like you just need more practice. Accuracy and consistency will improve with time. You're still developing muscle memory and feel.  Don't worry as much about speed either. Speed will come as you develop the consistency.

As just a home cook, i don't get a lot of practice, but I've watched my cutting skills improve year after year. As a student/pro, you'll get the practice faster and improve much quicker.

Keep the knife sharp and let it do the work.
Joined Apr 2, 2007
Assuming that your knife is good and sharp try to train your eye to look directly down on the spine of the knife. Keep your board square on the table and stand with both feet firmly on the ground facing square on to the table. Good luck, practise makes perfect.
Joined Jan 24, 2011
I have a question about holding the knife in use.  I know how to hold a Chefs knife (1-2 fingers and the thumb on the actual knife blade), but are all knifes held like this?  Are paring knives held differently?  How and what knives are held differently, if any?
Joined Aug 6, 2010
pairing knives can be held in a bunch of different ways depending on how it's being used. Most of the time it will be used for a design cut, or a small fruit. Most of your slicing, like bread or a roast, you can just hold the handle as you will be using the full lentgh of the blade. When boning, you are also going to want to keep your hands on the handle for the same reason. As far as getting your cuts right, I always stack my cuts. Get one really good battonet, then put it on top of the next one and use it as a guide. There is no more perfect way than actually measuring. It will get you used to looking at that specific size. It's good that you got the tournier down though. That one sucks. I am a huge fan of faking that one... aka making it with 8 sides because most guests don' t actually count them. Remember though, there is nothing better than lot's of cutting. I used to buy vegetables and cut them up at home to get the practice, then put them in plastic containers with dressing for my family to take as a snack to work and what not. good luck
Joined Sep 19, 2010
When I practiced my cuts at home I had marked my cutting board to show the 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 inch for large, medium, small (Batonnet) and Brunoise (Julienne).  It helped me check the sizes and to visualize the correct sizing.  I'm still working on perfecting the tourne...
Joined Feb 24, 2011
It's crazy because I can do the tourne no problem and they look damn good I have no problem with the length. But instead of being squared, they are rectangular. I have my cutting board marked too. I think I must be looking at it wrong or something. I have to hold the tourne, so I can see it from all sides, right in front of my face. I don't know if anyone even understands what I am trying to
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