Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cuts like a....

weed whacker

…but it feels so

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the quickest or most nimble-fingered when it comes to my knife skills. (Those of you that know me would probably pick clumsy or butter fingered,
mmm butter... over say, ninja-like, to describe my way of going about things.)

It isn’t too surprising, really, given the fact that the majority of my cooking adventures so far have involved wielding such non-threatening tools as balloon whisks, pastry brushes and silicone spatulas.

You know the sayings “clean as a whistle”, “sharp as a tack”, “quiet as a mouse”?
Another one that’s been tossed around in some kitchens is that something can be - say a wooden spoon or a piece of cardboard, or a new server, for example - “as dull as a pastry knife”. Another instance of something being sad, because it’s true.

(Not really related, but I just discovered another, totally obscure, most likely old British, saying
about blunt tools: “As dull as a fro”. That's me! Weird, but funny.)

While we’re at it, here are some of my other (safety) tools:

(safety) tools

These are some of my everyday go-to guys. You’ve already met my trusty weed whacker of a knife, great for cutting things like bananas and soft cheeses. (I guess it’s nice to know that no one will borrow it, for fear of it gouging out their knuckles whilst, say, slicing an apple.) The palm-sized metal bench scraper is awesome for portioning dough, chopping up cold butter, and cleaning up any messy floury surfaces.

palette knife again..

But I have to say that my absolute best buddy is this wee little offset spatula. She’s about the size of a large marker and fits, badge-like, in the arm pocket stitched in most chef jackets. Sometimes called an offset palette knife, this little guy is awesome for picking up and transferring delicate things that I don’t want to mess up with my clumsy mitts and for smoothing out any lumpy imperfections in icings or fillings (if only this would transfer to bigger things, like
um, thighs.)

palette knife

So you’re probably thinking, yeah, it may be called a palette knife, but it’s tiny and flat and totally harmless looking, not really what you’d called a real knife.

Ok, right, so that’s not a knife…

...that's a knife

this is a knife. For me at least.

It was fate, really. I was thinking it was about time to redeem myself in the “pastry knife” department, as a co-worker had recently, out of a mixture of generosity and pity, kindly thought to sharpen my old knife after he tried to cut himself a piece of ripe pear with it, and failed. Ouch.

That very afternoon, in walk in two charming men, looking much like the Wii guys, but instead of bringing us gifts of interactive video entertainment they offered, for our perusal, shiny examples of pretty blades of all kinds; case after case of glistening Japanese steel.

This was definitely a Hatori Hanzo moment.

It turned out that these men were not, in fact, roaming samurai but salesmen for Kikuichi knives. After much deliberation, and some reality checks (would I ever need a Damascus-steel, hand forged, 23-inch, ebony-handled tuna slicing knife? Even if it came with a matching set of ceremonial brushed stainless steel-tipped chopsticks? Would anyone?) later, I emerged with this lovely guy.

kikuichi knife

kikuichi box close up

blade close up

handle close up


Shiny…and I can slice pears (and onions and whole chickens, come to think of it) fearlessly again!

Last but not least, my favourite knife to use at home:

think pink!

I know, I'm such a girl. But when in doubt; think pink!

You know your house is obsessed with food when Valentine’s Day gets celebrated with gifts of pink knives…

little pink knife

pink knife close up

This one rocks because it’s super light and, interestingly, has a blade made of ceramic. It's razor sharp and does quick, easy work of pretty much everything.

Ever bought chives just for the sheer pleasure of cutting them into wee little perfect rings? (Did you know people did that? I promise, I know people that do!) This is definitely your gal for the job.

In fact, I may just go do that right now. Anything to distract me from that silly Bryan Adams song now stuck in my head...darned but ain't it just so catchy.

If you're interested, Kikuichi knives are amazing and are distributed in Canada by
Nishimoto Trading Co., Ltd:

Toronto Office
50 Fulton Way
Richmond Hill, Ontario

Do check out the catalogue on their
website. It will blow your mind.


  1. So which Kikuichi knife is the one you purchased?


    - Richard

  2. I ended up getting (after much deliberation) the lovely Bunka elite gold Warikomi "all-purpose" knife. It's great for pretty much all my basic prepping needs...thanks for asking!