Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How sharp are your knives????

I ride the asses of the guys in my kitchen. One of my favorite topics for 'discussion' is tardiness.(early is on time, on time is late) Really, no one is spared. No one. Last year, my good friend, Rich Matosky came out to spend a weekend cooking in our kitchen. He was late. He heard about it. HE WASN'T EVEN ON THE PAYROLL. Anyhow, insert whatever obsessive compulsive term you want here :____________

My overall favorite topic for 'discussion' is how sharp our knives are. You see, it's important to have sharp knives. It's important to have properly cared for tools. My dad always tells me 'a craftsman NEVER blames his tools'. He's 100% right. We've all heard people say how it's easier to get cut with a dull knife than a sharp one. OK, that's the basics. Here's the thing. Ease of work aside; it's all about respect. We spend a lot of time sourcing amazing ingredients. The farmers that we work with spend their lives working to get us the most amazing products this side of NYC. So......why the hell would we rip through them with a dull freakin' knife? Answer: we don't. We work hard to keep our knives as sharp as possible and below you'll see a pic of the table that helps us do so.

My dad just finished sanding and refinishing this table which is dedicated entirely to sharpening our knives. Yes, we have a table just for sharpening our knives. I don't want to get too over the top flowery, but I've gotta tell you that there is something very special and centering about running your knives over a stone first thing in the morning. Some folks out there have yoga; I have knife sharpening. It's the beginning of what we do every day. If you don't have a sharp knife. Don't start the day. You're already behind the 8 ball. Sort of along the lines of 'you can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.' No sharp knife? Don't bother cutting anything. Period.


jp said...

"some people have yoga, I have knife-sharpening"...its all about ritual, isn't it? ritual is centering...

Rich said...

This is Rich...first, I can attest to what happens when the rules aren't followed...second....I recently ditched a "Chef's Choice" sharpener...after thinking I was SOOO good at keeping my knives up to spec and went "back to the future" with a whetstone.

Night and day folks, night and day.

There are so many YouTube tutorials on how to sharpen this way that after the first knife it becomes second nature and the DIFFERENCE it makes is just mind boggling.

I'll never go back to how I was doing it before.

Oh and the post I wrote after my visit last year...I'm going back in July for another go.

I'll be ON-TIME this time and it will be interesting to see how the kitchen has evolved and whether I can still just barely keep up.

Stay tuned.....