Any other sushi chefs on here?

Discussion in 'Back of the House' started by Brandon Wicks, Dec 31, 2018.

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  1. Dec 31, 2018 #1

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    Where my people at?!

    I’d love to see your work kit. I plan on taking a picture of my current set up this week. Here’s some pictures of my newest knife. Kitaoka blue #2 mioroshi deba. I freakin love this thing!
     

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  2. Dec 31, 2018 #2

    Ochazuke

    Ochazuke

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    I'm curious about this too! I'll post pics later but I also love my kit:
    Watanabe kamagata usuba (180)
    Tsukiji Masamoto sashimi bocho (270)
    Gesshin Uraku sashimi bocho (270)
    Kintaro gyuto (270)
    Deba (180)

    This set up gets me through just about everything I could want to do with regards to sushi. I guess I also keep a ridiculously cheap shellfish knife. When I did more izakaya work I also had a honesuki and a petty. I got rid of the honesuki when I went to sushi only though. Funny thing about honesuki is that they're WAAAY overkill if you don't process whole chicken by the ton.

    I keep meaning to pick up a Kitaoka to try since he seems to mostly do single bevels. I remember you recommended his funayuki to me once. Maybe I'll do that next.
     
  3. Dec 31, 2018 #3

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    I have 300mm Kitaoka yanagi white 2 that I like but wish I had gotten it in blue 2 instead. It can get crazy sharp but it’s been kind of pain to deburr sometimes. The blue 2 of his has been super easy to maintain
     
  4. Jan 3, 2019 #4

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    C617F0A4-A9B3-49D5-B12E-C35515DAE283.jpeg DC51F99B-E92C-4626-AF36-FEB4B4E7B608.jpeg 22623C33-0104-4D49-B5F9-E66BB3ECFF61.jpeg Work kit. Sorry the lighting on my station is kind of harsh.

    From left to right
    300mm Kitaoka suminagashi white #2 yanagi
    120mm Watanabe kurouchi white #2 Ajikiri
    180mm Kitaoka blue #2 mioroshi deba
    180mm Hon Kasumi white #2 hon deba
    210mm Sakai Takayuki “Honyaki” blue #2 Gyuto
    300mm Fujiwara FKM Gyuto

    My 240mm FRKZ blue #2 mioroshi deba should be here in about 6-8 weeks from JCK! Can’t wait! I’m current planning to order a 270mm kiritsuke blue#2 in March as well.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2019 #5

    HRC_64

    HRC_64

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    I like seeing working knives, with working finishes, becuase you guys sharpen so much...
    more knives on the forum should look like this ;)
     
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  6. Jan 3, 2019 #6

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    Yeah when I was younger I would obsess over finishes and oil my handles and all that crap. I even had a Hattori KD gyuto that I thinned and re-etched. Went way down the rabbit hole. Now I am very utilitarian in my approach and selection in knives and stones. I'm not going to polish my debas and gyutos. I only take them up to an Aoto. It serves no purpose functionally and I'm just going to sharpen then every couple of days anyway. My Yanagi gets sharpened every shift up to my Aiiwantani but even then I am not going to worry about a perfect uniform polish. I ain't got time for that.
     
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  7. Jan 7, 2019 #7

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    Wow so only 2 of us here are sushi chefs?
     
  8. Jan 7, 2019 #8

    JBroida

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  9. Jan 7, 2019 #9

    Ochazuke

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    They're in that magical place that's right between having been used (and sharpened) really roughly, and somehow still being in workable shape.

    Full disclosure: I left the industry a couple months ago just because it was getting too much for me. I had been doing the 12-14 hour shifts, 6 days a week and I was falling apart. Unfortunately these knives don't get taken out that much as result since I can do most of my home cooking with a petty (and the occasional gyuto for really big stuff).

    It's sad to say, but most of these knives are waaaay overkill for home cooking.
     
  10. Jan 8, 2019 #10

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    Ah yes. Most of my home knives live in that limbo state.

    I can't see your photos btw.

    I left for 5 years but ended up missing it. I just needed to find the right place.

    Yeah for home cooking all you really need is a decent santoku. I mostly use couple different petties and a santoku.
     
  11. Jan 9, 2019 #11

    Mucho Bocho

    Mucho Bocho

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    Blasphemy. I don’t like the tone of this thread. Sure you can buy a food processor for food prep but how fun is that. The knives most of on this forum covet are more than tools their art, heritage and a passion for detail.
     
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  12. Jan 9, 2019 #12

    WildBoar

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    Ha ha, well said :D
     
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  13. Jan 9, 2019 #13

    slickmamba

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    now I know what to call my ugly sharpening finishes. I just have a working edge.
     
  14. Jan 9, 2019 #14

    Nemo

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    +1

    Besides, have you you ever tried to sharpen a food processor? They are a bugg*r to deburr!
     
  15. Jan 9, 2019 #15

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    Wow....I guess I won’t be sitting at the cool kids table. Quick question do you cook for a living?
     
  16. Jan 9, 2019 #16

    Mucho Bocho

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    Brandon, not anymore. I get it that cooking professionally and home cooking have different priorities. Knife length being one of them. That’s why I don’t own anything larger than a 250 and several 180 and 210. Granted I don’t use all of them every day but for me it’s nice to know I’ve got the right tool for the job. And yea, I do own one Santoku, 180 Shig KU sporting a nice Kashmii finish ATM.
     
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  17. Jan 9, 2019 #17

    Ochazuke

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    For sure on the different priorities thing. I'm not sure either one of us was trying to disparage collecting, but some knives (especially single bevels) really are overkill for any home cook. It'd be like buying a lathe for a whittling hobby (which there's nothing wrong with, it's just a lot). For me, what I learned is that most knives that are the "right tool" usually have one job that they do really well and that's it.

    And to speak to Brandon's point: for pros, great knives are beautiful but they're still tools to get a job done. Having such a high-precision tool like a yanagiba requires a lot of maintenance. The only pro chefs in America who are insane enough to properly maintain the edges on single bevel knives are the ones who REALLY give a crap about what their work. That's specifically why I used two yanagiba - rotate daily to give myself time to properly maintain them as opposed to trying to doing it when I'm dead ass tired. As a home cook now, after having put so much of my life in to working knife maintenance, there's absolutely no way I'd bother with anything more than a petty or santoku. Way easier to maintain and with good technique, I can still do pretty much everything I want to do.
     
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  18. Jan 9, 2019 #18

    Ochazuke

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    And again, I am absolutely not trying to disparage the knife collecting fever in any way. Just trying to explain from the perspective of someone who grew up having to use them as necessary tools versus someone who come to it out of their own interest.
     
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  19. Jan 9, 2019 #19

    Brandon Wicks

    Brandon Wicks

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    I have no issue with collecting and appreciating art and craftsman side of things. I grew up in a very art focused family. My personal aesthetics these days tend toward more humble and simple finishes with high use performance in mind. Sadly I can not afford to buy works of art to just use at home and I don't like using them in the work place. I find that my performance suffers because I end up babying the knife too much and I can't have that. That's why I sold my 240mm Hattori KD and 300mm Ittosai Honyaki gyutos years ago.

    My priorities:
    Being a really good sushi chef.
    Keeping my knives crazy sharp. I sharpen my yanagi every shift and other knives probably every other shift.
    If I have time or feel like it then I'll make them pretty. I am fully capable of making a knife look and perform better than new.

    On a side note I just ordered 270mm Gesshin Uraku Kiritsuke blue #2 to rotate in with my Kitaoka Yanagi. This might allow me to spend more time on each knife while sharpening.
     
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  20. Jan 9, 2019 #20

    Ochazuke

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    I 100% agree with not liking to have really nice knives at work. I also had the tendency to baby a nicer knife I used to have and to not do my best work as a result. I really liked my Gesshin Uraku though! It's a solid performer and I didn't feel like I had to baby it at all. It definitely punches above its class considering the cost.

    Here's the thing though: it took time to grow on me. Once I got some use out of it and got the edge geometry the way I like it, it really opened up for me. I hope you enjoy yours too!
     
  21. Jan 9, 2019 #21

    Ochazuke

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  22. Jan 10, 2019 #22

    gman

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    i'm not a pro but have kitaoka suminagashi yanagiba and deba for home use. just curious if anyone has a definitive source on the steel used in those? i've seen vendors list them as either white #1 or white #2...
     
  23. Jan 10, 2019 #23

    Mucho Bocho

    Mucho Bocho

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    Brandon, I’m only busting your balls. Totally agree that using pricy knives in a busy kitchen could be wrought with problems. Half oh my knives are carbon and even at home think twice before pulling them off the rack. You’re also right about most prep can be done with a sub 200mm blade. I don’t have any singles at home anymore either. Closest thing I have is a highly asymmetrical double bevel Takobiki.
     

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