If you had only one knife to bring to work

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

Post by lsboogy » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:36 pm

My Richmond GT will be my line knife for many years. I like it - cheap (I think I paid $80 for it) and takes a decent edge. I don't worry about the thing, and I will probably get a CHII petty - line knives are different than other knives, mine gets used by others every day I'm working - other knives are just used by me. I think that's one of the biggest things I have learned working in a high volume environment - prep is one thing, line work is going as fast as you can - whatever is close is what you grab.

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

Post by lsboogy » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:08 pm

I'm back at it today - we are short again (this appears to be the norm in most places). Two cooks called in sick today, so I've been through the grinder this morning. Lucky I showed up an hour early- (had breakfast at 6:30 today - dog decided there was something going on in the back yard at 5:45, squirrels were making a racket but the home defense was on. I called Rick at 7:45 and he told me that I was going to be doing a bunch of stuff on my own and to get in early if I could. A few days ago, he also asked if I would be comfortable turning mushrooms for 75 people (3 or 4 each) and I spent last night doing a few store cartons of them - brought in an old Sabatier Nogent paring knife today for the purpose, I'll be doing them starting about 4 today - steaks with mushrooms for about half the folk at a wedding tonight.
Spent the morning in the grinder with onions, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, some chilis, and then got busy with some bones for beef stock (roasted them off and then started the stock - it's cooking right now - smells wonderful). I'll be breaking down chickens in a bit with a Kurosaki honesuke AS laser (thanks Mark) that I am becoming a beast with - minute or so per chicken - have 32 to do in a bit - I get the thighs, wings, and legs for homeless cooking - plus Rick is gonna help me at the shelter tomorrow - Garlic chicken is going through my brain right now.
I brought in a couple of my Kohetsu blades today (Bensbites did great handles for me) - and my knife skills are starting to show. 210, 240 and 270 blades did most of the dispatch this morning - I stropped them well last night and they are just plain great knives on the boards - mild thinning (thanks Chris) makes the product just fall apart and I am doing very even slices on everything it seems. I did bring my Dauvua 210 with me for a line knife today - it's screaming sharp and I figured I'd give if a whirl at line duty today - I wonder how many others use them as line knives - dirt cheap for such a nice little knife. Getting motioned back now - time to do some herb work. Busy day but I'm having a good time - starting to feel like I know what I'm doing.

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

Post by Organized » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:35 pm

If I could only bring one knife it would be a Mac pro or blazen 240 gyuto. I own several honyakis plus plenty of other things but these 2 knives make the most sense for general line duties to me. There’s plenty of other stuff that might share similar features as these 2 but Blazens nice polishing and finishing, great retention and middle of the road thickness paired with fantastic grind makes it a suitable all arounder.
Mac can still be had for $180 and sharpens easy enough, it’s thin enough(super easy to thin more if you want to) and comfortable handle makes it suitable as well.

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

Post by lsboogy » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:54 pm

Organized wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:35 pm
If I could only bring one knife it would be a Mac pro or blazen 240 gyuto. I own several honyakis plus plenty of other things but these 2 knives make the most sense for general line duties to me. There’s plenty of other stuff that might share similar features as these 2 but Blazens nice polishing and finishing, great retention and middle of the road thickness paired with fantastic grind makes it a suitable all arounder.
Mac can still be had for $180 and sharpens easy enough, it’s thin enough(super easy to thin more if you want to) and comfortable handle makes it suitable as well.
One of the things I have learned from my time in kitchens (we did homeless shelter lunch of garlic chicken, pasta with oil and chilis, and mixed veg today - well received and only 42 people - super easy now) is that you need several knives to do things depending on what ingredients and how fast you need to work.
A home kitchen or small restaurant cook could probably get by with a knife or two, but cooking for large crowds means speed is essential. A big knife goes through prep much quicker (doing several bunches of green onions at a time save time) so I am trending towards my 270's for prep - still use a 240 as a basic knife, but a 240 will cut 4-5 bunches of green onions, and a 270 does 6 with ease. Butchery is simply a matter of experience, and a Honesuki or Garatsuki does the job on poultry or beef/lamb, and a big gyuto does just fine on fish.
Line work is on short boards (maybe 14" deep) so a shorter knife is a necessity, and line work in the kitchen I work in means everyone uses whatever tools are closest, so I don't leave my gems out for folk with poor knife skills (many cooks with good presentation skills are hacks with knives, had damage done to some of my knives by these kind of folk)) - but they certainly show me tricks with plating that make food elegant. I use knives that seem to match what I will be cutting for prep, and bring a shorter line knife that I don't worry about for line work. My line knife (maybe now knives with the Daovua) is subject to twisting cuts on boards, cutting on plates, and banging against spoons and bones - maybe a kitchen with fewer cooks (or being alone) is different, but I'm starting to appreciate different uses of knives. I don't think I will ever try to bring a single knife unless I'm in charge of the kitchen, and only feeding smaller groups - I could probably get by cooking for 40-50 with a single knife, but with groups of 200 (mid August we have a 750 person convention lunch) or more, speed in the kitchen is paramount - and the slices need to be even for proper cooking.
Steerability is where I'm at now - I can put a great edge on a knife (sharpening) and keep,it (stopping), but when you need to do boxes of veg quick and even, the right knife is essential - I am finding there is no way I could do my "job" using a single knife, and that even different ingredients require different knives when you have to deliver hundred of like plates of food.

I'm going to put out a shout to Carter Hopkins - I finally started getting the hang of even cutting driving a couple of his knives - they go where you think they will - my 52100 blade takes and holds a great edge, and just plain drops through stuff where you point it. Good as anything in my map cases full of knives - finally got the hang of 1 or 2mm thick slices, fine julienned carrots, and beautiful thin onion slices using his knives. Maybe it's just psychological, but it was the first time I looked at three 5 quart bins of zucchini that were really even in thickness - when you are doing 6 large sauté pans of veg at a time, even slices make everything cook at the same rate - I'm beginning to feel like and look like I know what I'm doing.

I'm scheduled to help with the 750+ person lunch already (vacation from work) - have to be in that day at 5:30, but I'm going to bring it - Rick says I will be doing boxes of veg in half dozen for better quantities - and I might get to be on sauce making duty as well.

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

Post by Moonshine_Radillac » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:17 am

I work everyday in a farm to table kitchen, we all have our blades and don't touch another's without permission. I mostly use a 210 for everything but pull out my cck cleaver for lots of vegetables. It goes further with our own peelers, spoons, spatulas also. Don't let anyone just grab your knife, it's respect.

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

Post by Kalaeb » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:29 am

Moonshine_Radillac wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:17 am
I work everyday in a farm to table kitchen, we all have our blades and don't touch another's without permission. I mostly use a 210 for everything but pull out my cck cleaver for lots of vegetables. It goes further with our own peelers, spoons, spatulas also. Don't let anyone just grab your knife, it's respect.
CCK is a veggie prep dream. Only way to go.

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

Post by lsboogy » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:39 pm

The kitchen I work in usually has 5-7 cooks, and I'm on the bottom of the totem pole. I have no formal training, so I volunteer at a friend's place to learn how to pull off my retirement dream. Prep knives are personal, and no one else uses mine without permission.

But the line in this kitchen can get quite busy given its a catering house so plating is just an all out go go go. We did trout for 72 on Saturday, along with tuna and tenderloins for another 100. I got to work most of the trout plates, so there were only 3 of us total working that line - but there are three knives on the boards and everyone just grabs the closest one in Ricks zoo of a kitchen (that's what he calls it when we have food that needs to get plated for tables of 12 with 4 wait staff running the plates out) - and being the low man on the totem pole I just do what others tell me.

One interesting note I had last Saturday was offering to show what a Montana trout fisherman can do cleaning them. They were delivered live, and I used my little benchmade pocket knife - whack Em, slit the chin, slit the belly, and pull out the gills and guts - maybe 10 or 15 seconds a fish. First time I've used a pocket knife in this kitchen for food - still my favorite way to clean them - good rinse and they go in the pile.

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

Post by Rob L » Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:22 pm

Anryu blue hammered gyuto 240 mm.
My collection is not big by any means. I do find myself grabbing this knife over others lately at work. These days if I had to bring just one that would be it. Although everyone knows not to touch my knives at work, I still don’t trust em! :) A lot of the times i’ll have a stainless knife on my station for those reasons as well. Most of the time its a wusthof 12 inch pro. I get them for 12 bucks at the outlet store nearby. So if anyone drops it or whatever, I could care less!

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

Post by Cutuu » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:16 pm

Cck small stainless cleaver

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

Post by lsboogy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:22 pm

I brought my Kohetsu AS240 and CHII blades today. Just finished 2 boxes of onions (1 fine slice, one medium dice), 2 boxes zucchini (diagonal cut - 2mm) and a box of broccoli (just flowerettes) and am on break for lunch. The Kohetsu did all the onions, but the Carter Hopkins did all the rest - wonderful knives. Just have trout to do later this afternoon - after lunch I'm starting to learn more saucing skills. The trout are being delivered live at 3, I figure it will take me about 20 minutes to do all 60 of them - going to try using a paring knife to do them today - the kitchen is always amazed at how fast I clean them. Going to teach a guy today - he's not a fisherman, so he has only done them professionally and he just plain is slow. I'm getting really good at onions

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

Post by lsboogy » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:40 pm

Bringing this thread back to life. Tales of a chef wannabe

I brought just 3 knives to "work" yesterday - kohetsu 270 with custom handle (thanks Ben), 240 CHII and Richmond GT line knife. We made zucchini carrot onion (sauted in medium pans - 12 servings) - I did all the prep work whil the real cooks made sauces and sundries for a 160 person dinner, then cut up salmon for 92 (had one of the overage for dinner last night). Rick always buys whole salmon so I deal with full butchery of the things.

The 270 Kohetsu is just a dream to break down whole salmon - large enough to go through 10-14lb salmon and watch both sides of the knife. I'm getting to the point where I can do a whole salmon to 12 oz portions in under 5 minutes - did 8 yesterday - skinning and getting grey stuff out (blood line along the side of the fish) - clean board means no scales in customer food. Plus, I was given the tartare from the spines - had a great breakfast this morning - eggs with salmon for two - Jen was happy.
Can never say enough about my CHII blade - thing flys through veg - my 1mm cuts are getting much better - shows when cooking large amount of veg - even cooking time is paramount for large dinners

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jbart65
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Re: If you had only one knife to bring to work

Post by jbart65 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:52 am

This has been a fun thread to follow, isboogy.
Jeffry B

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

Post by lsboogy » Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:28 pm

jbart65 wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:52 am
This has been a fun thread to follow, isboogy.
Thanks Jeff

I think the biggest thing I am learning is just how hard cooks work. I am learning how to get food to the table and how much timing is involved with it. I'm now really getting to be good at cutting onions - I cut the top off a whole box at a time, halve them, pull off the skin and then cut them into final stuff. I no longer think about how big a pile of stuff I have in front of me, I'm learning to just crank through it. I'm also learning about knife size - I rarely use anything smaller than a 240 and am using 270's more and more. And I've learned about line work - 6 people trying to cram into a space for 4 and knives flying all over the place.

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

Post by cliff » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:43 pm

Thanks so much for this thread -- it's an inspiration. I almost never cook for more than five to ten people, but when I'm prepping for a group I almost invariably reach for a 270 these days.

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