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Chefs and Their Knives


sweetback
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Hi, I am trying to find out what knives celebrity or famous chefs use, particularily I would like to know what Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali, Morimoto, and Susur Lee use, but any other chefs would be good as well

Thanks

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Thomas Keller teamed up with Mac to create a line of white handled knives with his name on them. I have used Mac knives and find that they are some of the best knives you can get for the $. But Nenox knives are a dream.

Check out Korin.com. They have a section where famous chefs answer questions about which knives they use.

Edited by chefdavid321 (log)
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Hi, I am trying to find out what knives celebrity or famous chefs use, particularily I would like to know what Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali, Morimoto,  and Susur Lee use, but any other chefs would be good as well

Thanks

I've seen GR use Mac knives on his latest shows. I think Bourdain likes Global.

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In Europe most chefs still use Sabatier au Carbon, Wustof, and Messermeister - nothing glamourous there, but all are locally available and are seen in every kitchen. The only Asian knife that is occasionally seen is Global. Nenox does make a great knife, but you're not going to see one costing 300 euros in any working kitchen...

Edited by BigboyDan (log)
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I bought the Daniel Boulud knives based upon my idea that he would certainly make the best knife for himself .. I haven't been disappointed in his santoku ...  :wink:my first DBK santoku

My guess is that many of the chef-branded cookware and knives are not actually used by the chefs themselves in their restaurants. Perhaps some are. My guess is that the chef-branded stuff is meant to be used in a home kitchen, and so the specifications are slightly different than what is required in a professional kitchen.

I know many line cooks, even if high end restaurants, use lower-priced knives (such as Victornox). Knives get lost, taken, scratched, etc. and so many chefs and kitchens don't have the highest quality stuff. Similarly, many professional kitchens use aluminum pans.

Having said that, I'd imagine that at home many chefs have both their own brand and some of their old favorites.

Cooks Illustrated did a test of celebrity chef cookware (not knives) and found some to be quite good, while others were definitely over priced, given their quality. Don't remember any specifics.

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Hi, I am trying to find out what knives celebrity or famous chefs use, particularily I would like to know what Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay, Mario Batali, Morimoto,  and Susur Lee use, but any other chefs would be good as well

Thanks

If a chef is in the public eye, as are all those mentioned, the choice of a knife to be seen with may be business or commercially oriented. The chef may not even use it when off camera. I don't think it does the rest of much good to see what "xxx" is using, unless there is some discussion of the knife.

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I remember on the TV show The Restaurant, Rocco DiSpirito made a big fuss making sure everybody in the kitchen was using his new Rocco line of cookware. I'm sure it was because it was the best, and not just to pimp it on TV! ;P

In all the restaurants I've worked in, we never had fancy cookware (all aluminum). The fanciest knives were Forchner and Henckel (which I think a vendor threw in as a perk). Talking to a guy who runs a restaurant supply shop, he said that's very typical - restaurants are so much harder on cookware and go through it much more quickly, that it just doesn't make sense to get the more expensive stuff.

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I have some very nice handmade/forged knives (sugimoto), some middle range henckels, and some "commercial quality" Dexter Russel knives. The Dexter Russel's are by far the cheapest, most often by an order of magnitude, and I always find myself turning to them whenever I'm cooking. The blade that comes on them is decent, not perfect, but 10 minutes with my sharpening stones will get most blades to that point, but the steel is actually very high quality. The handles are made of plastic composite, so they stand up very well to some abuse, and while I try to take care of my knives very carefully, accidents happen, and I'm not going to tear my hair out over a chipped blade on a DR versus a chipped blade on my sugimoto.

Of course if you're doing sashimi cuts or something of that nature that requires the best steel, then you will need a nice blade, but for almost all of what anyone will ever do, most knives will get the job done, the most important thing for me is that I am comfortable holding and handling the knife.

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  • 10 months later...
Ray Ray has a line of knives by Furi that I hear are the bomb.

Is "the bomb" a good thing, or a bad thing?

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"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

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A bit antiquated all around: I think the phrase was coined by Parliament in the late 1970s. :wink:

Plus, I have heard that the Furi knives are made from inferior soft steel - soft, like RR's knife skills. :raz:

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I have bought two Furi's; they have both been given away to others who thought they got a gift even after I explained my view-point.

The steel is way too soft, the handle is too slick [but I must say if it wasn't too small and then too slick it'd be fine]. An example of over hype under quality, I don't know but I think "Made in China" {by no one they will admit to doing it} just wasn't good enough.

BTW, as the USA was after it became the largest economy in the world in about 1850, China is now. I don't mean to say they can't catch up, they will if that government of theirs ever gets off their duf and stops hiding their 'goof ups'.

In short, I dislike all the Furi's I have seen and the two I have owned.

Edited by RobertCollins (log)

Robert

Seattle

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Wow, I never intended to have my post above discussed to any capacity. I was in an antagonistic mood that day and I was mocking those that buy or are interested in particular brands of knives just because professional chef's use them. Direct marketing apparently works but I've never seen it in action nor am I EVER infulenced by it so I just added my pissy two cents. Just for the record, I would never buy RR's knives and like otheres here, don't think highly of them any more than I do Cutco's knives which are probably the same material only costing 5x's as much.

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I thought that was a strange comment coming from you given your acumen and proclivities. However, I do not decry those who are curious about what equipment chefs use, should these professionals make their choices honestly, i.e., not for endorsement money.

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I have bought two Furi's; they have both been given away to others who thought they got a gift even after I explained my view-point.

The steel is way too soft, the handle is too slick [but I must say if it wasn't too small and then too slick it'd be fine].  An example of over hype under quality, I don't know but I think "Made in China" {by no one they will admit to doing it} just wasn't good enough.

BTW, as the USA was after it became the largest economy in the world in about 1850, China is now. I don't mean to say they can't catch up, they will if that government of theirs ever gets off their duf and stops hiding their 'goof ups'.

In short, I dislike all the Furi's I have seen and the two I have owned.

I owned a furi chefs knife and I've given away and reccomended others to friends. Sure, the steel is not the best and it's made in China but the knife is just so damn comfortable that it doesn't matter. I tried global/wustof/henckels and they all didn't feel half as comfortable as the furi.

PS: I am a guy.

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I believe somewhere in his books, Bourdain expresses a fondness for Globals. I forget what Batali uses.

Many of these folks' actual preferences will have been submerged in branding deals, though. Just for interest's sake, why do you care?

If you have a coupon for it, you don't want it.

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Forget the branding.

Knives have a purpose.

To cut.

Find something where the hasp suits your hand, and the balance is comfortable.

If it holds an edge, that's a good thing.

If it doesn't, and it's cheap, buy another.

For more details, check out "Miyamoto Musashi - His Liife and Writings" by Kenji Tokitsu. It's a new set of translations, and relates well to cooking (and other things).

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I believe somewhere in his books, Bourdain expresses a fondness for Globals.  I forget what Batali uses.

Many of these folks' actual preferences will have been submerged in branding deals, though.  Just for interest's sake, why do you care?

In Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, he touched on the subject of knives (p.35): "A sharp knife is a must". He goes on to mention getting a good quality Henckel, Wushtof or Global and taking care of it.

I'll echo some that say you should try the knive before buying instead of going on who uses the same brand.

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The key is to get a good knife and then learn how to sharpen it! That long piece of steel with a handle that sits in your knife block - it's called a steel, and it's for honing a knife, not sharpening it. To actually sharpen your knife you have to get a stone, or one of the easy-to-use stone-based sharpeners out there, like the electric knife sharpener by Chef's Choice. Learn what angle to use on the stone and then how to use the steel, and even if you use a Forschner or Victorionox, you'll have a knife that is plenty sharp enough for home cooking.

Oh, and by good knife I mean a good, sturdy blade, full tang and not some cheap, stamped piece of crap - Henckels, Wusthof, Global (what I use) are ideal, Kershaws are great but probably a little more than a home cook needs. Furi knives are fine for a home cook with small hands, they're way too cumbersome for large hands. Chef-branded stuff is hit-and-miss. In professional kitchens, as many here have noted, most of the equipment is heavy-duty aluminum and most of the knives are Forshcners and Sabaties with wide blades made for frequent sharpening.

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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