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Old 09.09.2011, 17:09
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Knife of choice for the professional cook

I think that there are a few professional cooks and chefs on here, plus some enthusiastic home cooks.

I use Global knives which I like a lot, and for no other reason than I fancy a change, I'm thinking about changing or adding to my collection (I'm a bit of a knife geek but couldn't find a quiz on it!)

What are the knives that professionals use? Do you guys buy brands, or only use the knife that was your grandfathers and have sharpened to a nub?

And are Wüsthof actually good, or is it just a Bourdain recommendation?
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Old 09.09.2011, 17:13
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

Interesting.....

I use Arcos. I have been told by relatives that are professionals, this is a good choice.

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Old 09.09.2011, 17:17
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

(Best Australian accent) That's not a knife...


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Old 09.09.2011, 17:34
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

I use Sanelli, an italian knife because I like the grip and the colors are green and red. Great knives, reasonably priced. I sharpen about 2x year.
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Old 09.09.2011, 17:41
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

I'm no professional, but I have 2 different sets of knives:
- Wüsthof, for my day-to-day cutting
- Kikuichi for my main 7" chef knife (The family that makes this knife used to make swords for the Emperor of Japan Way Back When (tm))
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Old 09.09.2011, 17:52
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

Wustof, and a handmade Japanese knife. Most important is being able to sharpen it them correctly .
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Old 09.09.2011, 17:53
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

Also I found this quote on Sanelli:

Chef Jean Beaudoin teaches at Montreal's leading cooking school, the Institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du Quebec. He recommends starting with a $50 chef's knife and a $15 paring knife for vegetables, fruit and boning.
“You can buy a cheaper knife,” he says, “but it won't be comfortable and it won't keep its edge.”
He suggests testing a 20-centimetre chef's knife, the knife most of us reach for, by trying to bend it slightly. “A good chef's knife should not be flexible,” he says.
At the Institut, students train on relatively inexpensive but professional-quality Italian-made Sanelli knives. These are balanced and comfortable. The sturdy, bright-green handles have a nifty retro look.

They are also good for safety. I have cut myself numerous times (result of drinking and cooking I think), and have made a couple of visits to the clinic here already.

Good value if you have good knives and looking for something to play around with.
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Old 09.09.2011, 20:50
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

Victorinox, of course.
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:03
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

With the exception of a couple of specialty knives, I mostly use only two... a Victorinox tomatenmesser (CHF 5 at Coop or Migros) and a Wüsthof classic. I've used the Wüsthof knife most of my professional career and I think it is quite good, but it needs a good sharpening 2-3 times per year!

Jack
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:10
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

Wenger are very good, most cooks and butchers use them...
Nothing wrong with Victorinox either...
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:18
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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Wenger are very good, most cooks and butchers use them...
Nothing wrong with Victorinox either...
Wenger belongs to Victorinox.
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:20
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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Wustof, and a handmade Japanese knife. Most important is being able to sharpen it them correctly .
Heh.. Yeah, I have a diamond sharpening stone that I use.. Keeps it pretty honest. I have to sharpen about 3x a year, so it's not too much of a hassle and each knife only takes 5-10 mins each (I have about 10 knives of differing uses). If you can afford it (My diamond stone ran about $90US), it's really worth it. Doesn't work so well with serrated knives, however.
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:26
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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Wenger belongs to Victorinox.
I didn`t know that ,thats conspiracy sort of
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:33
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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I think that there are a few professional cooks and chefs on here, plus some enthusiastic home cooks.

I use Global knives which I like a lot, and for no other reason than I fancy a change, I'm thinking about changing or adding to my collection (I'm a bit of a knife geek but couldn't find a quiz on it!)

What are the knives that professionals use? Do you guys buy brands, or only use the knife that was your grandfathers and have sharpened to a nub?

And are Wüsthof actually good, or is it just a Bourdain recommendation?
We have Global too and pretty much bought then because of looks and fashion - and I have been regretting it ever since. Crap to hold, difficult to sharpen. Completely overpriced. I shall follow this with interest.
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:40
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

I'm a bit like Jack. I have a large Wusthof chef's knife which I use for most things and a small Victorinox serrated tomato knife which is really versatile.

For slicing raw meats thinly I have a Sabatier chefs knife which is a little finer than the Wusthof.

I have other knives from the Wusthof and Sabatier sets but rarely use them.

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 09.09.2011, 21:53
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

WMF Grand Gourmet: http://www.wmf.de/messer-serien/gran...5-AD299D3D7EFC

Don't know about Damasteel and if they're worth the price-difference.

The Grand Gourmet are worth the money IMO. Well, if you're into cooking and knives.
I also have a all-purpose Wüsthof knife, but I like the equivalent WMF (which I gifted to my mother...) much more.
The handling is superb.
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Old 09.09.2011, 22:08
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

Two knives - a 20cm Zwilling knife and a knife I picked up at Sainsbury ten years ago for about five quid.

The Sainsbury knife gets a lot more use.
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Old 09.09.2011, 22:46
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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I didn`t know that ,thats conspiracy sort of
Victorinox and Wenger had been rivals for more than a century. They both have been making knives for the Swiss Army, exactly 50% of the demand each.

Victorinox, with a slightly older contract (I think 1890 or so) was officially allowed to call their stuff "Original Swiss Army Knives," whereas Wenger (contract of 1893 or thereabouts) sold theirs as "Genuine Swiss Army Knives."

Around 2005, Victorinox, which had been the biggest maker of professional knives on the world market for quite some time already, purchased the much smaller Wenger rival. They still produce separate brands, though.

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Don't know about Damasteel and if they're worth the price-difference.
I don't know if so called Damasteel or Damascus steel knives are better than ordinary ones, but what I know for sure is that there is no real Damascus steel these days. The knowledge and skill of making genuine Damascus steel (mainly swords and the like) got completely lost around 1750.

Modern variants are just attempts to imitate the look and feel of Damascus steel, but research has been unable to find out what actually made Damascus steel so special. Recent research has shown nanowires and carbon nanotubes in ancient blades, but how they were produced still remains a mystery.

In other words, those knives with decorative patterns may look nice and may be good (or not), but calling them Damascus steel is propagandistic license.
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Old 10.09.2011, 13:57
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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I don't know if so called Damasteel or Damascus steel knives are better than ordinary ones, but what I know for sure is that there is no real Damascus steel these days. The knowledge and skill of making genuine Damascus steel (mainly swords and the like) got completely lost around 1750.

Modern variants are just attempts to imitate the look and feel of Damascus steel, but research has been unable to find out what actually made Damascus steel so special. Recent research has shown nanowires and carbon nanotubes in ancient blades, but how they were produced still remains a mystery.

In other words, those knives with decorative patterns may look nice and may be good (or not), but calling them Damascus steel is propagandistic license.
I know. But the product series is called "Damasteel" - I have no way around that.

As to reproducing Damascus steel today - AFAIK, you can come pretty close.
Similar knives were produced in Germany at the times of the Romans ("ferrum noricum"). Their secret was a special carbon-rich ore possibly originating from the impact of a comet about 500 BC.

Carbon-rich steel is very hard but breaks easily, so you have to combine it with flexible carbon-less steel and hammer and fold this combination many a times[1].
The quality of the noricum steel reached at the time could only be reproduced in the late 20th century.

[1] Actually, like almost everything, after taking a look at wikipedia, this looks like a gross oversimplification.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damaszener_Stahl
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel
The German version is much more detailed and gives a nice little introduction into the challenges of producing high-quality steel.
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Old 10.09.2011, 14:29
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Re: Knife of choice for the professional cook

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I know. But the product series is called "Damasteel" - I have no way around that.

As to reproducing Damascus steel today - AFAIK, you can come pretty close.
Similar knives were produced in Germany at the times of the Romans ("ferrum noricum"). Their secret was a special carbon-rich ore possibly originating from the impact of a comet about 500 BC.

Carbon-rich steel is very hard but breaks easily, so you have to combine it with flexible carbon-less steel and hammer and fold this combination many a times[1].
The quality of the noricum steel reached at the time could only be reproduced in the late 20th century.

[1] Actually, like almost everything, after taking a look at wikipedia, this looks like a gross oversimplification.
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damaszener_Stahl
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel
The German version is much more detailed and gives a nice little introduction into the challenges of producing high-quality steel.
Thank you very much. I was familiar with most of that Wiki stuff already when I wrote my post. The essential thing is, even if modern attempts to make some kind of "real" Damascus steel are successful, the process is so complicated and unsuitable for mass production that it is way too expensive to be used for the production of kitchen knives and the like. What is sold in stores as Damascus steel just isn't. And, as stated in the german Wikipedia article, Damasteel is a totally different process altogether, which I had not known before. Thanks for making me aware of that.
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