Good things come to those who wait. For me and a knife I have been talking about for a year and a half, the wait is finally over and oh boy, is it good! How to describe the pure cutting nirvana that is the Big Chris Cook’s Knife?
My wife doesn’t get excited when a new blade enters the house, but after one cut with the BCCK, an exclaimed “Wow!” sprung forth from her lips.
One cut is all it takes, and that is virtually all it took me back in June 2016 when I first held an example of Christopher “Big Chris” Berry’s Cook’s Knife while attending BLADE Show. Just holding it and rocking the blade on the table was enough for me.
The balance… the feel… the thin blade… I knew I must have one, and I was willing to wait for him to build one exactly the way I wanted it. Thankfully, Chris was willing, even though his books weren’t necessarily “open” at the time. (Thank you Chris!)
The blade itself is thin CPM-10V. Having had the chance to review the Big Chris Pocket Fighter (reviewed here) made from the same blade stock, and having used it in the kitchen, I knew exactly what it would be capable of.
I think paper micarta is the perfect handle material for kitchen cutlery. Easy to clean, grippy when wet, and finishes nice and smooth. Something about the hand feel seems perfect to me. Chris had another knife on his table with a “bone” paper handle that I was smitten with. When taken to a matte finish, it looks almost like wood yet with all the inherent benefits of manmade micarta.
I love the combo of a natural looking handle material with red liners (see the GNS I built), so the choice was easy… bone paper with red liners and a matching bone paper spacer.
Now that I have the finished blade in my hands, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out; the knife is beautiful and the performance is sublime.
The half tang balances the knife perfectly (insert cliche, but true, “extension of the arm” expression) and the thin blade with convexed edge simply glides through anything in front of it.
The first meal I prepared with the knife was a pot of buffalo chicken soup.
The blade itself is just the right length to still use the point very effectively. Along with the edge curvature near the tip, this made butterflying chicken breast and then slicing it into strips a breeze.
Green onion, carrot, and celery were next and they didn’t stand a chance.
Interestingly, the rocking motion was not quite as smooth as I remembered from BLADE Show; the landing on the cutting board was not as soft as I prefer. Altering my technique to a more Asian-inspired movement, using push cuts with a slight forward motion, brought new clarity to the task.
After the vegetation was diced, everything went into the pot and it was time for a quick snack of Genoa Salame. After a quick wash, the BCCK was making the easiest, thinnest slices of cured, meaty goodness. You like your meat to be translucent? No problem!
With only one meal under its belt, I knew this was money well spent. At nearly $400, depending on your options (I paid $375), this is certainly expensive, but the Big Chris Cook’s Knife turns even the most mundane task into something noteworthy. You can’t put a price on that.
The above mini-review was outlined after first using my BCCK at the beginning of December last year. I haven’t had the chance to pull my words together until now as my wife and I were involved in purchasing and moving into our first house together, but I have not stopped using the knife since.
These past two months have only deepened my love for the blade. It is truly one of those special pieces. It feels quite alive in the hand and I will never tire of that feeling.
If all the above isn’t enough to engage your lust, consider this. During that BLADE Show, I made sure to bring Ethan Becker over to Chris’ table so they could meet and Ethan could check out Chris’ wares. He was considerably impressed with the Cook’s Knife and was very complimentary to Chris about the finer points of his design. It takes a special kind of kitchen knife to impress Mr. Becker, and the BCCK has all the right things!