At BLADE Show 2016, I saw a lot of kitchen knives from makers not typically associated with such pieces. L.T. Wright had a chef knife and a slicer on display. Ken Onion has introduced a new brand, Ken Onion Knifeworks, to produce some culinary designs. Clay and I got in on the action as well. He bought a stunning Murray Carter Funayuki, and a Big Chris Boning/Fillet Knife, and I commissioned a custom Big Chris Cook’s Knife in CPM-10V.
Before that, my old stand-by was a set of forged J.A. Henckels that I purchased from Costco. Clay had his Wusthöf Classics that were bought as a wedding gift.
Both companies make quality blades, but I think we, and the knife buying market, are starting to think a bit more outside the box when it comes to our kitchen knife selections.
As an aside, I had the pleasure of spending the holiday weekend with the nicest guy in the knife industry, Mr. Ethan Becker. He is a most gracious host who I am thrilled to be able to call a friend. We filmed a 5 From The Grinder that will be coming later, and of course played with and talked a lot about all manner of cutlery. But back to the subject at hand…
It is a shame that this kitchen knife uptick is only happening now. As most of you know, Ethan is probably more famous for being the current author of The Joy Of Cooking than he is for Becker Knife & Tool. In a blending of those two worlds, he produced a set of kitchen knife designs a few years ago in partnership with ESEE. In retrospect, they were probably a little ahead of the curve; they were discontinued due to poor market reception.
Which is a shame because the blade shapes are exactingly thought out (as one would expect from Mr. Becker). I had been looking to buy a set and they are nigh impossible to find now. After Ethan showed me some of the finer points of the designs, my lust was even greater. Quite luckily for me, Ethan produced a brand new set from his secret stash and sent me on my merry way!
In the short amount of time I have used them, they have me reevaluating all of my other chef/santoku knives. Seriously. When rocking, they have a sort of “soft-landing” on the cutting board, whereas all of my other blades tend to “clunk” when coming down. Hard to explain, but instantly noticeable. Here is Ethan talking about the set back in 2012.
So I know what my current favorites are! At least until my Big Chris arrives. Apart from the functional value, as a gift from “Uncle Ethan,” they will be irreplaceable for me.
What about you all? Have you been eyeing any new and fancier kitchen knives? Do you have a favorite brand or pattern? What are you using right now?