Running a restaurant isn’t easy, and as any chef knows you’ve got to have the right tools. Today I wanted to talk about kitchen knives. Because a quality kitchen knife is an essential tool in any restaurant, and you need to take care of them.
To the inexperienced a kitchen knife is just a knife. They have a handle to hold and a metal blade and youuse them to chop food. To a chef they are anything but.
There are enormous differences between a high quality kitchen knife and your average supermarket knife. You may not see those differences on the surface unless you look a little, but they are there and they are very important.
In my view any chef should seriously consider a Japanese kitchen knife. The Japanese have been making high quality blades for centuries, just look at Samurai swords. The Japanese know how to make a good knife.
My personal favorite are Global knives. They are made in Japan to extremely exacting standards using a particular stainless steel that is designed purely for Global.
Like many Japanese knives they have a much finer angle of bevel. Commonly American kitchen knives have an angle around 20 degrees. Japanese kitchen knives have a bevel angle around 15 degrees, or even less. This means that they will hold an extremely fine edge, however this will be at the expense of the longevity of your edge. Global knives should be sharpened at an angle of 10 – 15 degrees, which is very fine.
So you need to attend to your knives regularly. By “attend to” I don’t mean sharpening. You should in fact be honing your knife very regularly, every day, and this will actually reduce the need for knife sharpening. As well as a knife sharpener you will need at least one if not more quality sharpening steels.
From time to time, however, you will still need to sharpen your knife and to do this you need a high quality knife sharpener. The best knife sharpeners for Global knives are Global waterstones, which work extremely well.
High quality kitchen knives of any brand are extremely expensive, and are an investment. Whilst you should pay well over $100 for a single high quality kitchen knife it should last you for many years and will repay the initial investment in spades.
Not only will your knife be a useful kitchen tool for many years it will also be a delight to use. High quality knives are precision designed.
For instance Global knives are specifically designed so that they sit well in your hand with perfect weighted balance.
So if you’re running a restaurant you need to invest in some high quality tools, despite the cost. One of the tools you need, which are used over and over every single day, are a set of high quality kitchen knives, preferably Japanese kitchen knives.
Global are my favorite however there are others so make your own selection. But be prepared to spend some serious money on your knives and your knife sharpeners, you won’t regret it. And your knives will love you for it, over and over again.