I would appreciate some advice/opinions on a knife purchase for my daughter. She is a college student who currently works part-time doing prep, deserts and sandwiches at our local winebar/café. She has the opportunity to learn more from the owners and the cooks there. They have the usual assortment of Forschner knives for the staff and I’d like to get her something somewhat better, but still geared towards “working” production knives rather than high end or home use knives. I don't know that she will make a career out of it, but she is a theatre major and we all know how that works in reality – really a theatre/food service major. On the other hand, she is pre-med as well, but who knows how that will go. Surgery I suppose. I figure if she develops her cooking skills, she can get a job and can keep herself fed while she figures out what she wants to be when she grows up.
We have Wusthof (34 year old classics – wedding gift and added to since), MAC, Sabatier and Forschner knives, and CCK cleavers at home that she has used. I’m thinking of a basic set along the lines of a chef’s knife, 6” petty, bird beak paring knife, bread knife and boning knife. Probably a Idahone 12” rod. I do my own sharpening using water stones (decent but not a pro by any means), so I will probably attempt to teach her and get her a set of stones (or failing that an edge-pro system). I’m inclined to get a Forschner boning knife (have one and like it) and either a MAC or a Forschner bread knife, although I also have the Wusthof super slicer and like it as well. I suppose a 12” bread/cake knife would be good as she does bake and would have the opportunity to split rounds. That may limit choices to Forschner or Wusthof unless someone knows of another 12” bread/cake knife worth considering or if you think the standard 10" or so bread knife would be adequate.
After that, it is an open issue. I’d like to get her Japanese knives with maybe a Wusthof or similar German profile chef’s knife thrown in for when she actually has to whack something and needs a heavier knife that won’t chip. I’m thinking MAC Pro or Tojiro DP or Kikuichi TKC or similar for the gyuto, petty and bird beak. Something that will hold up in a work environment and take some abuse, but where she won’t have to be overprotective of or worry about them. BTW, she does like knives and has a few non-cooking knives and swords of her own. If she wants to get something high end later on, she can do that on her own nickel.
A final question – how big a gyuto? She’s tiny – 5”2” and 95 pounds. I’m fairly sure she hasn’t used anything bigger than a 210 at work, but I’m wondering if a 240 still makes more sense – at least for a Japanese French profile knife.
Thoughts, opinions, the meaning of life?
Edited by pohaku - 8/2/11 at 10:07pm