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  1. #1
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    Get Ready for some old school, as promised

    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)
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    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chinacats's Avatar
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    I can't believe how thin that gets toward the tip...great knife, even better story! Thanks Chef!
    one man gathers what another man spills...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Great knive, and great story above all. How do you call tang construction? Was that pin present in the original handle as well?

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    Nice!

  5. #5
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    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,.
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    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  6. #6
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    This is exactly why I love this stuff! Great post, as always, Son.
    09/06

    Take a look around at: www.sharpandshinyshop.com

    Email me at: tmclean@sharpandshinyshop.com

  7. #7
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    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.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  8. #8
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    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.
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    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    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.
    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

  10. #10
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    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.
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    I haven't lived the life I wanted, just the lives I needed too at the time.

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