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View Full Version : Get Ready for some old school, as promised



sachem allison
09-03-2012, 10:29 PM
Well, it's been awhile. I have been dealing with various issues lately and have neglected you guys and I apologize for that.lol
A while back I posted one of Chef's knives that was in a brawl and Eamon was given the task of bringing it back to life unfortunately, life has gotten in the way and that project is on hold. Apparently all the other projects are on hold also.lol Oh, well.
When I posted I told you guys that I also received several other of Chef's knives and would be keeping them private for awhile. Well that time has passed and I want to share with you a few of my favorite pieces and give you a little bit of background for each of them. First up is one of the largest chef knives I have seen in a long time. It has a 14" blade and surprisingly is American made. It was made by Lampson & Goodnow around the turn of the century. Chef, said that he stole it during WW1 from an Army field kitchen. The kids where play fighting Nazis, as kids do even during war. They ran through the area and accidentally knocked over some tables, when he went to pick up the things the cook kicked him and laughed when he fell over into the mud. (He said that this guy was a particular ass and would throw rotten food and potatoes at the kids. The kids would intentionally run through his area in the hopes that they could collect the food he threw, so they would have something to eat.) He grabbed the closest thing he could to defend himself and realized he had grabbed a sword. He took one look at it, got up and ran away. When he got back to the kids and they saw his sword, they switched games and he became Lancelot. He has kept his sword ever since.
It is 14 inches long
has a carbon steel blade and an oak handle that chef said he whittled from an old pallet after he had broken the handle in one of his battles.
The blade has a great distal taper and is remarkably lite
There is a slight curve to the blade from more battle damage.
The handle is massive ( chef was only 5'4" but he had massive hands and wrists and if he grabbed you you moved even into his eighties) (probably from moving all that cast iron)

chinacats
09-03-2012, 10:37 PM
I can't believe how thin that gets toward the tip...great knife, even better story! Thanks Chef!

Benuser
09-03-2012, 10:42 PM
Great knive, and great story above all. How do you call tang construction? Was that pin present in the original handle as well?

kalaeb
09-03-2012, 10:44 PM
Nice!

sachem allison
09-03-2012, 10:53 PM
The second one is perhaps the heaviest chef knife I have used. It is an Unmarked Sabatier knife. It is a "Chef de Chef" or "Cuisine Massive" I guess it would be similar to a Mioroshi Deba. It has a 12 in blade and is a little over 3/8 inch thick at the spine above the heel and has a nice distal taper to the tip. It also dates to around the turn of the century. Not so, interesting of a story, Chef was given it by another chef when he was about 18 . He was working at a seafood restaurant in Brittany and used it to split giant lobsters. He said they averaged twenty to thirty pounds back then and they would use them just to make lobster bisque and lobster Americaine. They would take the meat and throw it to the cats or use it for chum. There was so much of it. Chef replaced the handle years ago with an old file handle , because the original handles were just to narrow. It is suprisingly comfortable,.

Lefty
09-03-2012, 10:54 PM
This is exactly why I love this stuff! Great post, as always, Son.

sachem allison
09-03-2012, 11:00 PM
Chef's Lobster Americaine recipe

• 1.2 kg fresh lobster meat(or substitute for other firm monk fish)
• 50 grams salted butter (cultured French butter) but if you don’t live in France you will have to make do with good quality salted butter ( Plugra)
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 standard can of peeled tomato puree 14.5 oz
• 1 tbsp tomato puree (concentrate)
• 1 medium white onion
• 2 shallots
• Dried herbs de Provence (parsley, thyme, bay leaves)
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 tablespoons of plain white flour
• Half a bottle dry white wine
• 250 ml lobster stock ( use the shells to make a nice lobster stock, roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 425 degrees or until nice and red)
• 50 ml cognac
• 1 handful fresh coriander
• Small pinch piment d’espelette (a special Basque-country, dried spice).
The closest substitute is cayenne pepper
• 6-7 threads saffron
• Sea salt and pepper to taste
• Juice of half a lemon



Coat the lobster meat lightly in flour. In a heavy-based or good quality cast-iron pan, melt the butter and add the olive oil so that the butter does not burn.
Place the lobster meat in the pan then add the cognac. Light the cognac with a flame and flambé. Take the pan off the heat, place the lobster aside in a separate dish and put it aside to rest.

Finely dice the garlic, onion and shallots. Gently cook the garlic and onions in the flambéed saucepan then the tomatoes, lobster stock, white wine, piment d’espelette and herbs de Provence. Allow to simmer gently until the sauce has reduced and concentrated in flavour, for at least 20 minutes.

Finally, add the pieces of lobster meat to the sauce in the pan and cook for only a further 5 or so minutes. Just before serving, add fresh coriander and saffron, salt and pepper to taste. serve over rice.

sachem allison
09-03-2012, 11:25 PM
Third chef knife is the one chef used everyday. It is an original 1878 la Trompette Sabatier Medaille de' Or chef knife with an 11 1/2 in blade. It also has a file handle added to it. It was chef's first Chef knife. He traded another cook a few bawdy post cards and some cigarettes for it when he was 12 or 13. Later, he found out to his detriment that it wasn't even the cooks to give away. It was his first knife and also led to his first big fight. The cook it really belonged to came looking for it and didn't care that it was a kid who had it. He was 20 or so and out weighed chef by 40 pounds. The cook proceeded to beat the hell out of him . Chef had no choice, but to fight back and fight dirty if he was going to survive. He bit the guys finger off , but that didn't stop him, so chef hit him on the knee cap with a wooden mallet that they used to pound the bungs onto wooden wine barrels. The cook went down and Chef thought it was over as, he turned to leave he felt a sharp pain in his side and a warm sensation came over him and the darkness came. He said he dreamt of drowning and woke up in a sputter, as someone threw a bucket of dirty mop water over him. Chef apparently fainted when the cook stuck him in the side with a fillet knife. When he got up he was so mad he hit the guy with the mallet again and very shortly there after he had to leave and move away. He never said what happened to the cook, but I figured it out. He never let anyone touch it. That was a prize he earned in combat, He won and lost that day and he never forgot that. He got into alot more scraps and did alot of things he wasn't proud of in his youth, but they made him into the man I knew. Tempered and thoughtful.

sachem allison
09-03-2012, 11:27 PM
Great knive, and great story above all. How do you call tang construction? Was that pin present in the original handle as well?

I really don't Benjamin. I have never seen another like it.

sachem allison
09-03-2012, 11:52 PM
Last knife for this thread is a an old turn of the century Nogent Sabatier 6 inch boning/ fillet knife.No makers mark. It is incredibly thin and flexible. It is worn to a sliver I think the tip is less than a 1/4 inch thick. It has been steeled to death and for all practical purposes useless to most chefs. This is up there as one of Chef's favorite knives. He used it everyday, to deglove quail, bone out squab or fillet small fish, especially Blue Gill. Chef loved Blue Gill (sunfish) We would go fishing at least once a week at a little pond he knew. We would hit it at 6am sharp every Sunday morning and by 8am we would have two dozen Blue Gill and head back to the restaurant, Chef would pull out this fillet knife and do a couple of passes on the smooth steel and start cleaning and filleting. They were little tiny fillets, but he didn't care. He would rinse them off, pat them dry and soak them in some buttermilk with lots of black pepper and a little salt for about 30 minutes. meanwhile, during the wait he would make a spicy little aioli, with a smoked hot paprika. When that was done, he would remove the Blue Gill and dredge in a well seasoned 50/50 chick pea and regular flour mix. He would fry it in batches until crispy in peanut oil. (said it gave it a nice clean flavor) Drain on paper towels. I would make a little arugula salad with a simple Dijon vinaigrette and we would sit and have our feast. Dipping the perfectly crispy fish in the smokey paprika aioli and taking a bite of that peppery arugula, then finishing off with a tart Normandy apple cider. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. That little knife brought a lot of joy into my life and I never knew it.

sachem allison
09-04-2012, 12:19 AM
Dijon Vinaigrette

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

Whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt, mustard, and pepper until salt is dissolved. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.


Smoked Paprika Aioli



8 plump garlic cloves, pureed
Coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil (lightly flavored not too strong)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a mortar, pound the garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon of sea salt until a thick paste forms. Scrape the mixture into a stainless steel bowl, stir in the egg yolks and let stand for 5 minutes.
Set the bowl on a damp kitchen towel (to hold the bowl steady) and begin whisking in the olive oil a few drops at a time. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the olive oil, whisking constantly; as the aioli begins to thicken, you can add the oil in a thin stream. When the aioli is very thick, add 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice. Gradually whisk in another 1/4 cup of the olive oil, then 2 more teaspoons of the lemon juice. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil, add the 2 remaining teaspoons of lemon juice, then whisk in the vegetable oil. When all of the vegetable oil has been incorporated, season the aioli with lemon juice, smoked paprika and sea salt to taste.


Fried Blue Gill Recipe

12 Blue Gill fillet or snapper fillets (patted dry)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup chickpea flours
1 cup flour
s&p
Peanut oil

soak the fillets in buttermilk with lots of black pepper and a little salt for 30 minutes. remove and dredge in well seasoned 50/50 chickpea flour and ap flour mix. fry in batches in peanut oil or canola until crispy and drain on paper towels. serve with a crisp tart apple cider.

GlassEye
09-04-2012, 12:32 AM
This thread is great, I love these stories to accompany the knives. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

ecchef
09-04-2012, 12:52 AM
Son,

There's a before & after on a Pelouze Sab about halfway down this page: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/6038-Ecchef-s-stuff/page3

Dave did an amazing job on this re-handle. Like yours, this thing has an awsome distal taper; paper thin at the tip with just a bit of flex. I only wish it was a little harder steel.

Love you posts!

sachem allison
09-04-2012, 01:04 AM
yeah, I remember seeing that post and thought what a wonderful job he did. I thought about rehandling for just about a second and decided that I like them the way they are. I am going to see if I can find anyone interested in refurbing them, but these will stay with me. I won't give them away yet. I want to have some sayas made, but I will need to figure out how to grind smooth half that flared choil so that the saya can slide pass to put a pin in it. Round the spine, straighten the blades, fill in the gaps, retip, sharpen and refinish the sides. lots of work before I can use them again. No tools, no money and no work area makes this all a *****.

Chefget
09-04-2012, 02:59 AM
I believe that last knife might have started life as a 6 inch or so utility.

Both in Paris at culinary school, and here in Baltimore, the French chefs had painstakingly worn their utility/chef/paring knives into that shape...I watched an ornery old French chef almost start to cry when a cook had ignorantly picked up his more-than-fillet-knife-slender 9 inch former chef knife, and snapped half of it off in a pineapple...

Though the most popular knife to do this to was a 4 inch Nogent, forming a prized and perfect garnish knife for turning mushrooms and other veggies!

Great knives you have there, BTW!!!!

-Michael

Zwiefel
09-04-2012, 04:00 AM
Cool knives, and amazing set of stories...thanks for sharing. Looking forward to "after" photos.

steeley
09-04-2012, 04:53 AM
The la Trompette M'edille d'or expon unllie 1878 is a fine knife thanks Son

sachem allison
09-04-2012, 02:12 PM
I believe that last knife might have started life as a 6 inch or so utility.

Both in Paris at culinary school, and here in Baltimore, the French chefs had painstakingly worn their utility/chef/paring knives into that shape...I watched an ornery old French chef almost start to cry when a cook had ignorantly picked up his more-than-fillet-knife-slender 9 inch former chef knife, and snapped half of it off in a pineapple...

Though the most popular knife to do this to was a 4 inch Nogent, forming a prized and perfect garnish knife for turning mushrooms and other veggies!

Great knives you have there, BTW!!!!

-Michael

there is a very real possibility of that. I know a lot of old chefs and almost all of them have almost exactly that knife. No one touches it, because it's a very personal thing. there is a lot of history there. I should never have said that the knife was essentially useless, I meant for today's chefs they just don't have the experience or tradition to understand this simple little beat up knife.

sachem allison
09-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Chef's Lobster Bisque

Ingredients for 4 to 6 persons :

1 big lobster tail (around 14 oz] /
4oz butter
1 large onion fine dice
1 large carrot fine dice
2 celery stalks fine diced
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup cognac
2 tbl chopped fresh parsley
1 tbl chopped fresh thyme
2 bay leaves (fresh is better)
1 Tbl tomato paste
2 ripe tomatoes seeded diced and peeled or 14 oz can low sodium peeled and diced tomatoes
1 liter [2.11 pints / 34 fl oz]fish stock
2 Tbl cornstarch
½ cup sour cream
oregano for garnish
sweet paprika for garnish
salt & pepper.

- Prepare the vegetables : peel and dice the onion, carrot, and celery. Peel, seed and dice the tomatoes,
- Cut the lobster shell with scissors and take the flesh out ; cube it and
reserve it in the fridge. Roast the shells in a 425 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until red and toasty.
- Heat the butter in a casserole, add the onion, carrot and celery ; cook for
20 minutes on gentle flame, vegetables must soften but not get brown.
- (Heat and) flame the cognac and pour it on the vegetables ; add the white
wine and the lobster shells. Boil this mixture until it has reduce to half volume.

- Add the parsley, the thyme, the bay leaves, the tomatoes and paste
then the fish stock.
Simmer for 45 minutes and mix very often.

- Take the shells out and blend the remaining ingredients in a mixer in order to get a very thin soup.

- Pour the soup into a clean saucepan. Mix the cornstarch with the cream and
whisk it into the soup. Turn up to a medium flame for another 5 minutes.
Add the lobster meat and adjust seasoning. Gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Blend again, top with chopped fresh oregano leaves and sprinkle with sweet paprika.

- You can choose to leave the lobster meat unblended so that you will
really taste the lobster ; but real bisque blends it smooth.

Benuser
09-04-2012, 03:03 PM
there is a very real possibility of that. I know a lot of old chefs and almost all of them have almost exactly that knife. No one touches it, because it's a very personal thing. there is a lot of history there. I should never have said that the knife was essentially useless, I meant for today's chefs they just don't have the experience or tradition to understand this simple little beat up knife.
It can perform very well as long as you don't work on a board. As a boning knife, parer or slicer. My butcher will use his Victorinox till 1/8" is left.

sachem allison
09-09-2012, 12:36 AM
Anybody brave or adventurous enough to want to help me restore these knives. I can't pay, but I might be able to do some trading in exchange for some work. I would like to keep the three large handles on the knives if possible, because chef put them there, but they could be refinished or shaped if necessary. I have some period replacements if need be. In case something goes wrong. the blades will need to be re-tipped, gaps filled, sharpened, straightened, so on and so forth.choils rounded and ground flush to the blade for half the heel width.( for future sayas) I would do this myself, but with working 7 days a week it just can't happen. Jim was generous enough to extend the use of his shop, but I just can't make the time. Thanks, Jim for your generosity.
If someone or multiple someones are interested Pm me. Need to get them done possibly this year, would like to get a chance to use them. Running out of time, so many projects, not enough days in a lifetime.
Thanks, Son

sachem allison
09-09-2012, 05:11 PM
wow, no one!

chinacats
09-09-2012, 10:51 PM
If I only had the talent to do the work, I would be more than willing, but these knives need someone who knows their @%*#!

knyfeknerd
09-09-2012, 11:16 PM
pm sent

VoodooMajik
09-10-2012, 03:38 AM
Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed reading this

sachem allison
09-10-2012, 03:48 AM
I really don't Benjamin. I have never seen another like it.

sorry, Bernard

Benuser
09-10-2012, 03:59 AM
sorry, Bernard
This Bernard happens to be a Benjamin as well.

Lefty
09-11-2012, 08:52 AM
What do you want from me, Son? :) I just read this part of the thread.

Justin0505
09-12-2012, 05:56 PM
I don't have access to a shop, so I am limited to hand finishing work (smoothing, polishing, a little thinning, and sharpening). If you have someone else willing to do the coarse grinding, id be happy to do the finish work.