If you had only one knife to bring to work

Proper user technique and care is essential to enjoying these high performance knives to their fullest while keeping edge damage to a minimum. Learn how here.
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lsboogy
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Location: Minneapolis

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by lsboogy » Sat Apr 06, 2019 6:52 am

Having my last bit of yogurt before I start a long day at the catering kitchen. I have a pair of Carter Hopkins knives, my line knife, and a shun blue steel garatsuki (I'm doing ducks again today - I brought it with me on a whim - probably my biggest day ever in a kitchen, and sitting here I wonder if I would have been better served bringing a different hinosuki or such). I'm about to start a day where I am more on my own than ever in a volume kitchen - Rick told me I will be on a dinner for Michigan State alum waiting for the Final Four. I am doing veg prep early (onions, cauliflower, carrots sliced in several ways, avocados, and tomatoes are my duty after I get a few dozen ducks into some duck fat for confit.
I am told I will also be cooking scallops late this afternoon when the kitchen moves to the serving site, and this has me a bit nervous. Cooking scallops for two to 10 has never bothered me, but I need to get scallops for nearly 80 ready to go at the same time. Rick tells me I will do fine and to just set up 8 pans at the same time - I will have a 12 burner stove and will have Josh looking over my shoulder to ensure I don't screw up.
I should have a nice chance to test the pass around Carter differentially hardened knive versus my 52100 patina blade from him today. I feel like I am going to be tested as hard as I ever have been in the kitchen - I will be out with josh and 2 others for getting plates ready for a large dinner. I'm looking forward to this and the line should be about as fast as anything I have ever seen. I was just handed 9 spoons for plating and am about to start on some duck - wish me luck - going in

acaptainn
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Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:15 pm

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by acaptainn » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:12 pm

Ive really enjoyed following this thread. Thanks for posting it and your experiences!

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STPepper9
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Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by STPepper9 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:32 am

I've finally been able to read this thread and I have a lot of respect for what you're doing isboogy.
It's really interesting to see the progression of your experience and glad you didn't get swayed by the skeptical coworkers you mentioned.

nakneker
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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:37 am
Location: Taylor, Az

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by nakneker » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:25 pm

I agree with STpepper, it’s pretty cool do follow a dream, I’m glad your sharing the experience.
“The goal is to die with memories, not dreams.”

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Drewski
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Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by Drewski » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:55 pm

I agree. I don't comment in here but I love reading about the adventure.

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lsboogy
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:23 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by lsboogy » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:58 pm

Yes, this is kind of schooling for a dream. I'm learning about how to do things for show and for large numbers, and my skills are staring to improve.

I got a kudo from the head chef yesterday that I had never really thought about previously - my cuts are becoming even in size as I get better technique - I asked Rick why he thought I had done such a good thing yesterday and he pointed out the most of the line folk cut pretty even slices and pieces, but mine were very uniform yesterday and that really helps when cooking them - they all tun out the same at the same time. And when doing food for hundreds at a time, this is important. Ive always done a pretty good job at uniform sized pieces, but I just had a great day using a pass around knife that seems well tuned for high volume kitchens. It finally sunk in what a difference a knife that is sturdy versus just a great cutting tool - the CHII blade I used for most of the prep went where I aimed it and did not move off path - no product could steer it wrong (my line knife wanders just a little) - I am finding out why so many chefs use medium weight blades - and what a laser really is. The knife I used was not the lightest thing (pretty darned light, but not a 5oz 240) and went straight every time. It was comfortable through long prep, held an edge, and was just plain a beast like thing. If I was to pick a blade for use at home, my ultimatum (thinned and relieved so it has no more sharp edges except the cutting on) would be my choice, but in a volume environment, I am starting to learn why so many love Konosuke Fuji blades and maybe Carter Hopkins will become the Carolina version - the knife goes where you aim it.

I think I will be much better able to handle large groups after I do this for a few years - I am gaining a great respect for real chefs and line cooks doing this. I was saucing plates for a good bit yesterday - sauce bottles and spoons are great tools and I am getting much better at it. There are many things that don't occur to the home cook when you need to get 53 duck confit plates ready at the same time. But I am starting to learn what need to get set up and when.

I am doing Easter at a large mission with a bunch of other home cooks and 2 chefs (know both of them), and I think it will be fun to show off some of my new skills there. I'm going to bring my CHII 52100 blade and a Richmond addict for that. A great home knife is not the same as a prep knife in a pro kitchen.

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lsboogy
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Location: Minneapolis

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by lsboogy » Sun Apr 14, 2019 10:30 am

I had one great day yesterday in the kitchen. Rick (chef) was at a wedding and we had two small (28 and 38 person) dinners. I brought the CHII W2 240 blade, a deba, my 270 Kohetsu (thank you for the wonderful handle Bensbites - it made it a more controllable knife) and my line knife. I got to do some red snapper with the deba and I was again slicing zucchini at 2mm, along with a half box of onions and a half box of carrots (julienned them). I think I am beginning to understand a different perspective on knives - what I call "steerability" or the thing just goes where you point it. A deba is a great knife for fish as they just go where the edge tells them to go - but a double edge gyuto requires skill and something else to make it just "go there" - I'll give more feedback as I learn more, but this is the first time I have used a knife that inspired confidence In me (outside of my old heavy Sabatier jobs) as to where a cut will go in product - and when cooking in a pro kitchen for large groups this probably matters as much as anything
Slicing the zucchini I have noticed a distinct difference in my perceived abilities to get uniform slices with different knives - not a hard veg, but has a transition between skin and core that makes many knives wander a bit. I tried my line knife on a few and the results were what I used to think was good. The CHII blade just plain made slices uniform (no wedge, no wander) and made me feel like I knew what I was doing.
I got to cook veg dishes yesterday, and then got plates ready with bottles and spoons for saucing. I am beginning to understand why uniform cuts make for a better presentation - thank you Carter for the lend of the knife. I like my 52100 model a bit more (maybe just familiarity) but this thing has shown my why many like middle weight knives - it's a lightweight that performs like a middleweight - carrots all come out the same, and zucchini slices are uniform - making it easy to cook several large pans at the same time with near uniform results.
I had a gas yesterday and hope whomever gets the knife next has as much fun as I did

Ut_ron
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:55 am
Location: Ogden Utah

Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by Ut_ron » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:09 pm

Looking forward to using it. Won’t get the same workout as I am a home cook for 5 - 20 depends on whether it’s Sunday or another night.

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