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new chef

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to know what kind of knives are the best to buy for a beginner chef?
post #2 of 13
Get knives that fit your hand well. That's the most important aspect of any knife. Remember, they'll ALL stay sharp if you never use them.

Get the best you can afford. Knifes are either forged (good) or stamped (cheap). Some stamped knives, such as paring knives, are good to have. Others, such as 6, 8 or 10" blades are only mildly okay. However, that being said, if the knives are for 'general use' and you are not the only person using them, cheap is the way to go. You can replace cheap knives as often as you need without becoming a financial burden.

Welcome aboard.

Ciao,
Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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Order In/Food Out ~ It's NOT magic.
- * - * - * - * -
"It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you." Frank Zappa
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post #3 of 13
Is your question which knives to buy for yourself or, being as how tomorrow is Black Friday, is your question which knives to buy as a gift?
post #4 of 13
I think we are assuming that YOU are the new chef.
In that case, brand is up to you, but you need 1 8-10 inch french knife, an nice paring knife, and a 12-14 inch round nose slicer.

Pick it up. Too heavy? handle uncomfortable? Get something else.

If you are buying for someone else, then any quality knife will usually be appreciated;

Wustoff/trident (old school)

Messermeister (old school my current knives)

Forschner (inexpensive, but get the job done)

Global. (trendy, hip, effective)

Chef cutlery (currently CIA student kit I hear)

But inceasingly I see some very experienced chef's forsaking the whiz bang, and going to Dexter Russell Connoisseur series knives:
http://www.dexter-russell.com/produc...onnoisseur.asp
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
The knives would be for myself, I start Culinary School next year so I need to buy a set. I think I'll be going for the Classic Wusthof, thanks everyone for the info..
post #6 of 13
My two cents

Most kitchens (in bigger cities) have a company that exchanges their knives every week or two. Ask around and find out what company does it for the kitchens in your location. Call them, find their location, then pay them a visit.
More than likely, they will have a selection of new AND used knives in their showroom for you to select from.

They wont be the best quality steel mind you, but they will be what the kitchens use on a day to day basis. Plus, they will be cheap. Get 'em, drop 'em, and beat the **** out of them while you are in school. afterwards choose a set of knives to keep.

My choice of 'Must haves':

1 French knife (Blade at least 3 inches high at the handle)
1 Boning knife
1 Paring knife
1 Enormous steel

In Canada that will cost about $30.00 if bought from the cutlery service.

Get them in your hand and work them, beat them, and toss them. Afterwards you will have a good idea of what you would like to buy and keep.

Cheers!

Al
post #7 of 13
I began with a near complete set of Tridents (Wusthof) ... German steel is very hard...they tend to keep their edge longer, but when they get dull, they can be reasonably difficult to return to original sharpness. Great weight, so recommended for heft (butchery, hard veg prep, small bone cleavage).

My favourite knife brand is Mac. These Japanese knives are razor sharp, and only require a few swipes across a stone to return to sharpness. The steel is soft, so jobs that require heft are not recommended. I recommend the 7" Santoku...very well rounded all-purpose kitchen/line knife. It never leaves my board during service.
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"...I don't want to be old, and feel alone...
...an empty house...is not a home..."
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____________________________________

"...I don't want to be old, and feel alone...
...an empty house...is not a home..."
-Keane____________________________________
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post #8 of 13
Call me stupid... but don't most culinary schools make you pay some ungodly "lab fee" so that they can provide you with a basic starter's kit of knives? Or is it just certain ones?
post #9 of 13
True, the schools will rip you off on a knife set, just get a junky starter set because chances are someone will swipe one at school and you will be sure to abuse them while you are learning. Before buying a nice *expensive* set learn how to sharpen your beater set correctly on a whetstone so you don't ruin your $$ investment I've seen plenty of very nice knives all scraped up and down the sides from the incorrect application of a stone. I would take your time and try out how various brands fit your hand and buy them as you need them believe me you won't need every knife at once. A good place to look would be e-bay believe it or not. I use the porsche chroma knives because they fit me nicely, I bought most of them on e-bay and paid about 1/2 of what they are selling for at the stores. Good luck at school.
I still have my original paring knife my mom bought me when I started school 20+ years ago it is now sharpened down to a nub. :-)
Fluctuat nec mergitur
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Fluctuat nec mergitur
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post #10 of 13

The one that fits you!

It takes a few try before you find the right brand for you. So don't go buy a kit juts yet. Try many different brand and after a few months then you should be able to choose the brand that fit you!

I have used "Victorinox" for 15 years before finding "Sanelli"

Consider:
Shape, size, quality and price before settling to something...

Good luck,
Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
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Martin Laprise
Author of "My daughter wants to Be a Chef!"
www.thechefinstead.ca

“A cook who invest a few bucks every week is a smart cook"
Reply
post #11 of 13
technique is everything.
If it feels right use it
professionalism .
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professionalism .
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post #12 of 13
And if you need knives because you are just starting out, you are NOT a chef.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #13 of 13

Sanelli

I have used "Victorinox" for 15 years before finding "Sanelli"Someone else who has discovered Sanelli knives! I bought my first one about 7 years agoand have given many of them as gifts to everyone who tries them (mostly to stop them from taking mine) aren't they great..............the price is even better. I started out with Wustofs, Henkels even some Globals.........gave them all away as I replaced them with the Sanelli. Pretty they're not but boy do they work and the handle is a great fit and non slip even if my hand is greasy. Next I will try their dough knife and life will be complete. :)
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