Thought I’d veer away from my usual restaurant start-up blog post this week and talk about knife skills!
Yes, knife skills!
If you’re going to be in the kitchen of your startup, you better know a thing, or two or you will get HURT!
If you’re doing the purchasing for your restaurant, then it’s good to have a handle on what types of knives your kitchen staff will need.
Each knife serves a purpose it’s important that you have the proper knives to guarantee each kitchen recipe is prepared correctly and timely, which ensures a delicious and profitable menu.
One of the very first job interviews I had with a high-end white tablecloth restaurant when I was breaking into the industry was not a sit-down interview.
It took place at a prep table with a cutting board, knife and several fruits and vegetables with the chef telling me to please clean, cut, skin, julienne, chop and dice these for me.
I’m not going to lie I had some skills but still had a lot of sharpening to do ;=)
I didn’t get the job!
I was a quick learner, but the chef didn’t have the time or patience for a rookie still honing their skills, the restaurant needed a more experienced person for the job yesterday.
Their loss, my gain since I did wind up getting a job at a private club not too long after that, where I was taught by willing line cooks, sous chef, and chef that became knife skill mentors and then some.
When one interview door shuts, another one is waiting for you to walk through. Never give up!
I started to invest in the different knives necessary for working in a professional kitchen an expensive hobby, but since I was a guitar player, I knew quite a bit about collecting objects of desire.
My first knife purchase came when I was given the task to clean skin and debone salmon, those rather sizeable beautiful fish. I become the proud owner of a long, flexible blade of a knife designed to cut all the way through a full side of salmon or large salmon fillet. This type of knife is known for removing the delicate skin and cutting super-thin slices.
It’s a rather long blade, and it did scare me, but I eventually learned how to respect knives and use them properly. It does become an impressive skill you can show off to your friends and coworkers.
The KEY is to respect all knives and always be careful and in control when handling them.
The start of my knife purchasing began! You just can’t stop, not if you’re going to become a real chef and slayer in the kitchen.
There are many opinions on what knives are essential, but you should start with three knives that are crucial to have, Chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.
All other knives can be bought as you grow your arsenal to make cooking more relaxed and more enjoyable or you may need to purchase a variety other knives required to prepare other menu items such as an oyster knife or boning knife if you’ll be cleaning fish or carving and portioning meats.
- The chef’s knife (sometimes called a cook’s or French-style knife) is considered the essential knife. It has a wide blade between six and ten inches long and is used mostly for chopping, though it can be used for anything you want to do with it. The edge of a classic, chef’s knife curves upward toward the tip.
- Paring knife looks like a mini-me chef’s knife, with a blade ranging from two to four inches long. It’s suitable for delicate tasks where a larger edge would get in the way. Paring knives are ideal for peeling onions, coring tomatoes or trimming vegetables.
- A Serrated knife is used to slice bread, tomatoes and even meat. Serrated knives are most useful on foods that have one texture on the outside and another inside, like hard-crusted bread or a tomato.
An offset serrated knife, sometimes called a deli knife, minimizes the chance of hitting your knuckles on the cutting board once you’re done. I’ve become very fond of these knives and use them for almost everything.
You’ll eventually become attached to a particular knife when you become a kitchen cooking hound! It’s more of a personal preference, as you become more experienced with your skill.
As they say, it’s all about using the right tool for the right job.
Using the right knife can improve your cooking!
Without question, the knife is the most crucial tool in the kitchen and choosing the right knife for the job is an essential step toward simplifying your cooking.
The wrong knife choice can cause unnecessary bruising, mess and damage to the food product.
An example of this would not use a bread knife to carve a roast it will not look pretty and be challenging to eat with the slices mangled and torn.
Choosing the right knife will give you the best control, it will help you avoid injuries caused by slipping or unnecessary added pressure. This is how accidents with a knife happen, and if you been a kitchen for a while, you may have seen this or have a few scars to prove it.
I recommend using each knife for its appropriate job and taking the time to practice knife skills.
I also recommend Bladesto.com for anyone looking to buy knives of any type. They focus on providing simple, actionable knife buying guides. They will save you time finding the appropriate knives you need.
Please watch Bladesto’s Video-25 Tips and Tricks About Chef’s Knives Every Chef Should Know
Knives Are One of the Most Important Tools In Your Restaurant Kitchen
While many prefer using a chef’s knife for performing nearly every kitchen task with it in hand.
Keep in mind you should feel comfortable with the knife you are using, but don’t expect to without sufficient practice, practice, and practice.