Introduction to KKF:
Starting a thread to introduce myself. A few months ago I enrolled in culinary school, after wrapping up a 12-year career outside of the industry. I have always loved the kitchen, just never knew how much, nor had the means to do anything about it. I start my second quarter in a few weeks, in which I will begin lab classes.
An injury caused me to spend my entire first quarter in the classroom, which enabled me to get some non-essential, but nonetheless required hours out of the way. Regardless, I still bought the school knife kit back them because I've always found tools fascinating.
Over that time I've also been spendling lots of evening hours lurking in different knife forums, trying to learn as much as possible. It's a lot of information to soak up, to say the least, but I'm doing my best. I'm probably going to have several "newb" questions, but you all seem very kind.
I'll post some knives and there stories in this thread.
Welcome welcome, Gravy!
So this is our standard school kit, a Mercer 9" chef, boning and pareing knives (also came with a basic 10-inch steel):
My first Commercial Kitchen Knife/Knives
So almost a year ago now, I asked a friend/chef where I could get a good kitchen knife. He told me there was a Sur la Table where I live so I decided to go check it out. Not really knowing much about knives, I just went with what felt good (and also looked good). It wasn't cheap, but I'm a buyer by nature. The floor person had me sold on this Shun Bob Kramer model:
I had never held a knife that sharp before, and was extremely satisified with my purchase upon using it. I didn't really know how to treat it though. I figured the knife had to be indistructable...I mean, just look at the thing. Anyway, a few months later I was taking apart some chicken thighs and didn't hesitate going after the bone (dumb, I know). A huge chip ensued.
I was pretty sad about it, and after showing it to my chef friend, pretty embarassed. Nevertheless I continued to use (and dull) the blade. I had bough the accompanying steel that came with it, but really didn't use it properly. Eventually I took it into the production kitchen at school to show it to a classmate. His quote was "that's a bad-ass knife, but you're going to have to grind the hell out of that edge to get that chip out." He then grabbed it to take the fat cap off of some brisket and said, "man, you really need to sharpen this thing too."
So I swallowed my pride and went into Sur la Table. I was more just browsing the knives when the floor person started asking me questions. I told her I was a student (I wasn't when I bought the Kramer) and was just looking around. She what I was looking for and I explained the ill-fated story of my Kramer. To my surpise, she immediately offered to exchange it. I even admitted to going through chicken bone, and she was like, "that's ok, just know your'e not supposed to do that.
So, instead of just replacing the Kramer, I opted to get a little more value, picking out three different Shun Classics in exchange. At this point I really hadn't begun to discover independent knife makers in the U.S. or Japan, so you could imagine my excitement. I got a 9-inch slicer, 7-inch Asian cooks knife and 3 1/2-inch pairing knife. I opted for the Asian cooks knife because it was a great value compared to the other Shun's, came with a nifty little board and I already had my 9-inch Mercer, so I figured it could double as utility:
Thats pretty awesomr! Sur la tables return policy is legendary.
Welcome. Beware....your buying hormones will go into warp speed here.
Hand Made Knives
So after a week or so of using the Shun's in house, I continued to explore knives online. This is when I became about a million times more addicted. Seeing the beauty and effectiveness of handmade blades, and discovering how real professional blade heads don't really use commercially-produced kitchen knives.
I told myself I was going to wait until after I finished my first year before I bought a chef's knife. Welp. That lasted about five days. I spent about another week looking and debating how much I could budget for a proper knife. Eventually I settled on this Murray Carter.
It's 8 1/2 inches (still trying to convert to metric, it's coming slowly). Since he sold it to me, the description was taken down, so I don't have all the specs on steel. I will try to find them. I absolutely love the knife, and the main reason I wanted to get involved in the forums is so I could ask how to properly care for it and sharpen it.
I would have still got the other Kramer, but then again I keep drinking his punch. Welcome, and hope your pocket book doesn't go into shock.
Thanks for all the welcome's guys...
Originally Posted by Pabloz
and yes, I'm like a kid in a candy store here!