What do you want to know about Chef Knives?

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Hi all,

I've got the opportunity to ask some of the UK's top Chef's about knives as part of a feature I'm putting together. I've got some ideas about what I'm going to ask them but it would be great to get some insight into what you guys want to know.

If you had the chance to speak to a top chef about kitchen equipment, specifically knives, then what would you ask them? I'll use some of the best questions and then post a link to the final feature piece in this thread so you can see if your question was answered.

Comment any questions below.

Can't wait to hear from you.

Aaron
 
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I would ask, "How many of you use Western style chef knives versus Japanese knives, and what is your preferred length? There is a lot of differing experience about this on the internet so some real data would be useful.
 
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Actually most chefs it seems know very little about knives themselves or knife sharpening and in that respect are just about as needy as the average home cook. I'd say most even had very rudimentary knife skills. Those chefs who are knife savy though are a wealth of information, with understanding of the most esoteric things you would never even think of. But it's lateand I'll leave it here for tonight.
 
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Actually most chefs it seems know very little about knives themselves or knife sharpening and in that respect are just about as needy as the average home cook. I'd say most even had very rudimentary knife skills. Those chefs who are knife savy though are a wealth of information, with understanding of the most esoteric things you would never even think of. But it's lateand I'll leave it here for tonight.
I agree with Rick. The only high-end professional chefs I've ever met who know a great deal about knives use Japanese knives, and most of them are Japanese and trained in Japan. Gordon Ramsay is a good example here: nobody can seriously claim that a 3-star chef is a mediocrity, but nothing I've ever seen of his activity in a kitchen suggests that knives are a big deal for him.
 
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I agree with Rick. The only high-end professional chefs I've ever met who know a great deal about knives use Japanese knives, and most of them are Japanese and trained in Japan. Gordon Ramsay is a good example here: nobody can seriously claim that a 3-star chef is a mediocrity, but nothing I've ever seen of his activity in a kitchen suggests that knives are a big deal for him.

ChefLayne certainly has a point, and his MAC is none too shabby for a knife also, I also love his contributions to cooking knowledge. But the subject here is knives.

Yesterday I absolutely delighted a friend [who I am visiting] with a stuffed French omelet, the fixings of which I made with his crude Santoku knife. But much of the prep I enjoy really requires a very good and sharp knife to accomplish the task. You really can't put that kind of edge on just any knife, or have it stay there long.

There are many techniques you can master, some of the ones most interesting to me simply require a great knife and sharpening skills.
 
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I would ask "What percentage of your time is spent on improving your knowledge of knives? What percentage of your time is spent on improving your knowledge of cuisine?"

ChefLayne certainly has a point, and his MAC is none too shabby for a knife also, I also love his contributions to cooking knowledge. But the subject here is knives.

Yesterday I absolutely delighted a friend [who I am visiting] with a stuffed French omelet, the fixings of which I made with his crude Santoku knife. But much of the prep I enjoy really requires a very good and sharp knife to accomplish the task. You really can't put that kind of edge on just any knife, or have it stay there long.

There are many techniques you can master, some of the ones most interesting to me simply require a great knife and sharpening skills.
 
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the subject here is knives.

I believe the topic is
If you had the chance to speak to a top chef about kitchen equipment, specifically knives, then what would you ask them?
The thread started off with people responding with questions that could be asked of a top chef about kitchen equipment, specifically knives; but then the thread seemed to go a bit sideways. Answers turned into opinions, and the opinions had nothing to do with what the OP asked in the first place; but I could be mistaken. Wouldn't be the first time, nor probably the last.

If you had the chance to speak to a top chef about kitchen equipment, specifically knives, then what would you ask them?
What is your budget (AKA price range) for your every day workhorse knife?
 
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I would ask: what's really more important to you as a professional: culinary results, specific knife technology (steel type, hardness, etc), uniqueness of knife (e.g. Different from the plebeian masses), or the "cool factor" of having the "best" knife.

I expect that there would be multiple responses so assigning proportionality would be interesting.
 
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I believe the topic is

The thread started off with people responding with questions that could be asked of a top chef about kitchen equipment, specifically knives; but then the thread seemed to go a bit sideways. Answers turned into opinions, and the opinions had nothing to do with what the OP asked in the first place; but I could be mistaken. Wouldn't be the first time, nor probably the last.


What is your budget (AKA price range) for your every day workhorse knife?

Ahahaha, guilty as charged I guess, I was certainly trying to steer the OP.

But OT now, and as I also implied above, if you are looking for what chefs know about knives then it should include those things that only professionals would have experience with, like, "Why is a "Packer's Steel" smooth?", just as an example. Or what predominatly perceived differences, between chef's who use high-performance knives to those who just use the house knives or similar.
 
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Here's another question to ask, Aaron: how many of your active professional chefs/cooks use "high-performance" knives versus "regular" knives in a professional kitchen.

Or, how many professional chefs/cooks drive high performance cars to carry their knives to work versus driving regular cars to get to work.
 
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A short trip around the world, with many stops missed. Good luck with your article.
 
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Questions for the chefs:
How much of your vegetable prep work is done on site? of the prep work done on site, how much by hand(a person with a knife) and how much by machine?
How much of your protein prep work is done on site?
 
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Questions for the chefs:
How much of your vegetable prep work is done on site? of the prep work done on site, how much by hand(a person with a knife) and how much by machine?
How much of your protein prep work is done on site?
Good questions. I would also ask what type of knife is recommended for the vegie prep and the same question of the protein prep.
 
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