I know all about Michel Bras, Le Suquet, inventing the chocolate coulant, Gargouillou of Young Vegetable, etc... But what the hell is up with his signature knives made by KAI? Im not asking in interest of purchasing (370 dollars for a paring) but asking if anyone has actually touched, used or owned one. They are handsome with the grayish matte and all the embellishments but the price is bonkers. They cant just be going that steep on Name recognition because Bras is only well regarded in a small circle of people with decent culinary knowledge who would know better than to throw that kind of money on said knife unless it has some kind of qualities I'm not aware of from a KAI production. Anyone?
Michel Bras by KAI?
They're garden variety Shuns with slightly modified profiles and slightly different handles (they're "chestnut" and not "D" shaped), and a thin, "Titan coating" (i.e. a titanium wash) which promises some degree of non-stick but in fact offers zero practical benefit.
Who would buy them? Sometimes retailers and manufacturers set prices as a way of appealing to a particular niche. Here, my guess is that Bras pricing is designed to interest people who have a lot of money, want "the best," but don't know much about knives or cooking.
Without getting into "the law of diminishing returns" there's a limit to how far you can go to improve functional utility in cutlery which is also expressed as a price range. In terms of a 10" gyuto, for instance, $300 will get you about all of the performance you can buy. After that, you're shopping for things like beauty, a master's hand workmanship, exclusivity, status, etc. The "economic," money value of those things is individual.
From what I can see, I think they call the large knife a santoku. I don't see a chef knife listed. They seem like an incredibly overpriced mediocre knife to me,.
The knife block listed tells me all I need to know about the pricing. If anyone decides to buy the knives, I will make you a block out of any wood you choose for half the price of slightly over $1,000 and throw in a really nice cutting board.