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Thread: Why are so few cooks learning how to maintain their edges?

  1. #1

    Why are so few cooks learning how to maintain their edges?

    So I work with about 12 cooks (incl. the head chef and 2 sous). Out of 12, only 4 have stones.Out of 4 with stones, 2 (incl. myself) understand how to use them correctly. I've turned on a couple co-workers to J-knives and they purchased good, inexpensive users only to come to me with multiple sharpening requests even after I've urged them to buy stones and showed them what to buy and given them one-on-one sharpening demos. Ugg!

    I'd feel like a dick not sharpening their knives, but after a couple freebies, I'm about ready to say "Please buy a stone and let me show you again how to use it"...period. Anybody else run into this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Deckhand's Avatar
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    Sounds like you about to start a knife sharpening service
    I bet a lot of knife sharpeners started that way.

  3. #3
    I usually suggest stones for people to buy at my work, and show them how to use it. But in all, I would say people are just lazy and they can get by in their day-to-day with a mostly dull knife. There are always the few exceptions, but people in general are LAZY!

  4. #4
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    Every kitchen I have been in is like that. I've come across 2 people that wanted to do it all themselves and ask me to teach them, the rest could care less or wanted me to do all the work. Funny cause the two that want to do it all are at my current job, one is western knives and the other just got turned onto Japanese knives.

    I'm working on a class for next month to teach in our in store classroom, see how that goes

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jayhay View Post
    I usually suggest stones for people to buy at my work, and show them how to use it. But in all, I would say people are just lazy and they can get by in their day-to-day with a mostly dull knife. There are always the few exceptions, but people in general are LAZY!
    I'm thinking you're right....I'd love to to finally find that green kid who's eye's light up and who take's edge maintenance seriously.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DwarvenChef View Post
    I'm working on a class for next month to teach in our in store classroom, see how that goes
    This sounds like a good idea! I have the space available as well, perhaps I should include the general public and make it an in-store demo.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayhay View Post
    But in all, I would say people are just lazy and they can get by in their day-to-day with a mostly dull knife. There are always the few exceptions, but people in general are LAZY!
    Plus 1 and bear in mind that they will NEVER learn to sharpen if you keep doing it for them. Stop being a soft touch as you are not doing them a favor...you may not be around for them forever. I keep my knives sharp, and I know there are many here who get all Zen like with regard to sharpening....but to me it's just a necessary chore, and I wouldn't do it if I had someone to do it for me. ;-)

  8. #8
    I've been to two free sharpening info sessions held by local knife stores around here, and in each case you could tell who were the ones who really wanted to know more and who thought the info was already more than they bargained for. There's already self-selection at work in terms of who chooses to be at a session like that - and then within that group you can see differences.
    Len

  9. #9
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    The hard part is getting the info DOWN to the avg users understanding while keeping the info and demo's up enough to keep the mid level people interested. I'm still working on my rough outline, I keep finding more info I want to put out and battle with myself on how/where to fit it in LOL

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by macmiddlebrooks View Post
    I'm thinking you're right....I'd love to to finally find that green kid who's eye's light up and who take's edge maintenance seriously.
    Tell me about it. And maybe I'm just being harsh right now, as I just got off work.

    I find most line cooks these days are a bit spoiled, of course ymmv, and don't do a lot of their own prep. Which, in-tern means they don't really need a great knife. They slice proteins on the line and chop herbs, the not tough knife work. And, after getting off work at 11 or 12pm, most people are tired and just don't have the energy or drive to sharpen after their shift. And after the half-handle they drink after their shift, they don't feel like doing it in the morning either. I'm really not trying to come off as jaded, it's just the industry I know.

    And, we have a intern at my work now that is a good kid. I suggested some knives, a deco stone, and a ceramic rod. His eyes don't light up, he's kinda the medicated-mellow type, but I like him. Quiet, hard working, will do anything asked. I'm trying to show him there is more to the culinary industry than the grind.

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