Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/
Maybe just stirring the pot but here goes.
My last chef was a complete and total bad ass in the kitchen, with a strong reputation around NYCs top kitchen's to boot.
Strangely, he had great knife skills, but could not sharpen or maintain a knife for ****. He came up in a time before J-Knives and whetstones were popular. He openly admitted to me as one of his cooks that he sucked at sharpening, as his ego wasn't invested in it.
So being a bad ass chef for two decades likely means great knife skills, not necessarily sharpening technique.
Sort of supports the point that I have been trying to make all a long. Are not these the type of people that we should "assist" in getting on the right path??? I don't feel as though anyone with a lack of knowledge and the willingness to learn should come on this board and be bullied, humiliated and bashed for something that they are trying to get better at. I don't think it's right for some swollen up turd (whom has never worked in the industry) to be such a condasending jerk. I have been in the business for over thirty five years and HATE seeing our "future" trashed, because of a lack of sharing our very valuable knowledge. Just my humble opinion.
Technique aside - Could he tell if a knife cut well or not?
'The only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.' -Henry Ford
I have worked with 3 types of cooks. One that didn't even bother to worry about what was in his hand, and would take forever with whatever he was doing because he was going to "make it work".
another is the cook that would take time to steel his knife, but when it went dull would try to "make it work". At times this guy will just grab another knife hoping it will at least cut. The "make it work" guy doesn't think much about anything other than what he has been shown. Doesn't want to do more than what will get him out the door.
The next cook would be the one that never uses a knife for anything other than to open a box. Like most people at home.(If your reading this you prob. don't fit here) Just doesn't care.
The third one wants to know how stuff works and how to make it better. Usually the knives are at least looked after, if they own any. If they don't own any they go looking for something to make them sharp. Like anything else they find that there isn't enough time to learn everything out there.
I have seen people in all 3 categories that can sharpen knives. Being learned some time before. How good they can sharpen is something all together. Many times what people think is sharp isn't there at all.
If you are reading this thread you are prob. in the 3rd category, wondering how much time it will take to learn this. I know I have tested/tried knives that needed some help with thinning, and also have tried quite a few that were over thinned to a point the original grind was pretty much removed for the equation. When I first read the title of this thread I thought all the thinned knives that would chip because they were to thin.
At this point in time I forgot what my original thought was and how I was gonna make it. (I type slow) But it doesn't matter if you are home cook or a pro. your attention to detail will put you into either of these 3 cooks. Getting to know how to sharpen, is about learning the fundamentals, and getting the feel of them. I have had easier time making hollandaise sauce than learning some angles of knives. Add thinning to the mix can be even tougher.
I have seen bad knives by both pro and home cooks. Most are usually in the second category I listed, but they are also usually afraid of them too. When I tell them about my knives I get a scoffing look, then I have them cut with them its a totally new world. Most knives I see that are used need to be thinned, but usually never to make it very thin.
Chewie's the man.
Another thing to consider, different geometries for different uses. a touring bicycle and a track bicycle have radically different frame geometries, which create a completely different type of ride, appropriate for the intended use. so there's not necessarily one right way, one ideal knife geometry.
This is my reason for owning numerous gyutos. Different knives for different tasks.
The difference between try and triumph is a little "umph"! NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!