It’s fair to say you’d be hard pressed to publish a daily news update on developments in the world of kitchen knives, chefs knives and professional kitchen knives – things move quite slowly in this sometimes very traditional arena! But that’s not to say there isn’t anything happening, so we thought we’d bring you a quick roundup of stories and developments you might have missed over the past few months.
First, here’s a bit of I.O.Shen news out of the UK – our pals in the UK have been at the BBC Good Food Show and have been getting very excited about the new Maoui Deba style I.O.Shen knife. You can find out more about this great knife here. We will have them in store here in Australia by August and they will retail for around AUS$180.
It’s always good to see celebrities and respected journalists backing up your view of life. We’re talking about how many kitchen knives you really need. As we mentioned in our previous article (The four essential knife types for your professional or home kitchen) we’d of course be delighted if you bought as many of our knives as possible, but we still agree with the points of view expressed by Masterchef’s Matt Preston and the Sydney Morning Herald’s Rachel Clun. Both Matt and Rachel are firmly of the view that Australians have way more stuff in their kitchens than they actually use, and most people could probably do away with half of what they have in their kitchen cupboards and not notice.
While both suggest various kitchen devices which could be ditched without much harm, they also take aim at the number of kitchen knives many people keep. Matt Preston’s advice is that you really only need two kitchen knives – a ‘sharp large chef’s knife’ and a ‘good small knife’ for paring and dicing. Rachel Clun adds a bread knife to that mix (she also – slightly more radically – advises throwing out all your pot lids).
Alan Henry at Lifehacker Australia agrees with us that there are four knives you must have in your drawer (or preferably in your knife rack – see why we think you shouldn’t put your knives in the drawer here).
It’s very tempting when you set up home for the first time or you’re moving into a new home, to get a big set of knives (we’ve all done it), just be aware you’re going for quantity over quality. We believe you’re much better off with the 2-4 knives recommended in the articles above – as long as they’re good quality (like I.O.Shen knives!).
See the original articles for more advice from Mr Preston, Mr Henry and Ms Clun…
Talking of good quality knives, it seems that there’s a resurgence in bespoke knife making happening in Australia at the moment (see our previous article on knives as works of art here).
Bundaberg knife maker Scott Simmonds started out making knives when he was working on a station and needed a boning knife, which he didn’t have, so he made one. He enjoys the whole process of making knives so much, he’s even tried his hand at making a sword.
He admits, though that…
“The hardest part of making any knife is getting that happy medium with a hard edge but one that’s still easy to sharpen and maybe have a bit of spring in the blade so it doesn’t snap if you’re a little rough on it.”
(which is less of an issue with I.O.Shen blades due to the Japanese manufacturing process we’ve profiled here). Read more about Scott here…
While down in Canberra, a 12 year old girl has decided that knifemaking is the career for her. Leila Haddad was watching a Damascus blade being made with her bladesmith father Karim at the age of five, and started making knives when she was ten. She has made around 30 knives, but is aware of her father’s advice that she needs to forge at least a hundred to get ‘really good’.
Read more about Leila here…
And finally… just in case you missed this one on 1st April last, Samsung gave us a sneak preview of their Galaxy Blade Edge (pictured) – the ‘world’s first smart knife with smartphone capabilities’. It made us think of the article we ran on kitchen knives of the future a little while back, just to check the publication dates of our sources…