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Local restaurant show and tell and sharpening.
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  1. #1
    WillC's Avatar
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    Local restaurant show and tell and sharpening.

    Well I've found a way to get "free lunch" I spent the morning in a local restaurant kitchen. A small place but they are passionate about their food.
    I did a little show and tell of some of the knives I have made then showed the owner the basics of how to sharpen a kitchen knife with water stones. It gave me a chance to see what they are using for what and test a new combination stone on some different steels. It was an all round fun experience and I feel like it has started a nice on going interest and connection with the owner and chef there. They were of course very happy to have sharp knives again. A very worthwhile experience all round.

    The knives they had were the usual suspects, Victornox, including a couple of big old beasts, Wustoff, a Shun stainless Gyuto and some old Sabs. These as it turned out were the most satisfying to sharpen. I'm certainly glad I brought a diamond plate, their knives had had a pretty tough time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Aphex's Avatar
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    It allways amazes me just how many pro chefs don't know how to sharpen properly. I guess it's beacuse the knives they tend to use are so cheap, they can't comprehend buying a stone that can cost ten times more then their rubbish knife.

  3. #3
    WillC's Avatar
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    It is strange that not many can sharpen. But i suppose time is one thing that is always in short supply in Catering. The owner I think was impressed with how quick the stones can work. I'll be providing him with a good quality combination stone and a diamond plate at some point to get him started. I've found one that I would certainly use myself at a good price to sell with my knives to people wanting a sharpening starter kit. Its a 1K/8K sigma power ceramic.
    I think with that, a diamond plate and a strop he will be sorted.
    He was most amazed at the effect of leather and polishing compound on the edge. I've got him turned on to chromium oxide on balsa too.

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    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Most Chefs don't have a clue about knives/sharpening. The guys I work with steel their knives to death and they never see stones, so they are blunt as hell and the steel just wears away the edge and does nothing for it. If anyone of them asked I'd happily sharpen them but perhaps they are too proud. One guy has a rough idea and has some sort of coarse stone and it works for him, but he is the exception. I know there is more to cooking that sharp knives, but is makes your job so much easier, it is hard to describe how nice it is.

    Another thing about the UK particularly is how much of a ripoff knives are. There doesn't seem to be much of a market for genuine high end knives so all vendors are absolute bandits. People see TV Chefs using Globals and Wusthofs and they buy them in droves. I remember a TV Chef saying how you can never have a sharp enough knife, then proceeding to use a grooved steel. If he had a clue about sharp knives he would throw it in the bin

    It is funny, a while ago I had a trial at a very fancy fine dining restaurant and everyone was using Victorinox knives and the Chef saw my Watanabe and asked how much it cost. When I told him he responded with a few different swear words and shook his head

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    sachem allison's Avatar
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    The funny thing is Britain used to make some of the best knives around for like 200 years and then they just couldn't compete with the cheap asian knives that flooded the market in the late 60's until now.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

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    Senior Member Johnny.B.Good's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenStefano View Post
    It is funny, a while ago I had a trial at a very fancy fine dining restaurant and everyone was using Victorinox knives and the Chef saw my Watanabe and asked how much it cost. When I told him he responded with a few different swear words and shook his head
    Because he thought you were crazy for spending so much on a knife? Or because he got ripped off on whatever he was using instead of a Watanabe? Both?

  7. #7
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    I think he couldn't believe I'd spend so much on a knife.

  8. #8
    WillC's Avatar
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    Yes it would be nice to see the sheffield works being used again. One of the BB members is running a healthy business from one of the old units in his fathers footsteps. Stuart Mitchell.
    I'm going to get a flyer done and offer some sort of basic sharpening demonstration for local Restaurants. You never know they might actually buy some knives sometime.

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