I’m writing a blog post about my ordeal trying to learn enough to buy my first nice chef’s knife. But in the process of researching, I’ve run across so many ridiculous samurai-tinged myths and material-siences-PhD-speak that I got to thinking — What specific chef’s knives actually get used in restaurant kitchens?
Good question. First of all, never buy a set. As with pots and pans you end up using two or three all the time and the rest almost never. I find that my most often used knives are the following: A traditional European shaped chef’s knife; I prefer an 8 to 10 inch knife. Santoku chef knives are great too, it just depends on your cutting style in the kitchen. Then I love an expensive artisan produced high carbon steel utility knife that I use constantly and my paring knives (I keep three in rotation, but to be honest I use the inexpensive plastic handled ones). Those are my everyday knives. Then I have two boning knives (one stiff, one flexible) that I use but be realistic. If you don’t see yourself boning out chickens or filleting fish then don’t bother. In my opinion everyone needs a long blade serrated knife. Don’t forget a good steel to keep the knives straight and the edge in good condition. I still use the carbon steel knives I inherited from my father that he used in the navy and old Sabatier’s that I bought at flea markets in France.