help needed badly
A long time ago, I had been working in the industry for YEARS in places that had 'house knives'. I even worked in a high-class french restaurant in a ski resort hotel that had house knives, plus a tool box full of the chef's knives that I knew not to touch, but for some reason I was never even remotely fascinated with. During these years I just seemed to take knives for granted. I didn't know much about them, nor did I care about higher end knives and I certainly didn't realize how much better they could be. Like I said... years went by. I got a job in a hotel restaurant doing high end 'New American' and the chef didn't say anything about it at the interview. I started the first day and found no knives there available to me. I had to borrow one of the other line cook's knife... to much embarrassment. After that day I started to realize that I needed my own knives. After that, I had gotten a job at a few other places that didn't have any knives available. And once I started caring for my own set of knives, when I got a job at a place that did have 'house knives', I realized how terrible they were!
Now, thanks to this forum, I have a great set of knives that are leagues better than the first set of knives I was carrying around after that first "epiphany".
+1, But I think "to start" depends on the menu and your prep duties. At the last place I worked, I needed a sujihiki (or some type of long filet knife, or yanagiba). I was breaking down alot of salmon, mahi-mahi and sea bass. I also needed a boning knife (or utility, petty, honesuke). I was frenching alot of racks and breaking down beef tenderloin, strip loin, ribeye.
I never needed a paring knife.
My advice is always buy only the tools that you need for your current tasks and spend money on geting quality tools that will last . E.g if you prep a lot of meat a 270mm suji is a great investment. Pastry section? Sugar thermometer , pastry brushes, palet knife. Shuck oysters? Buy an oyster knife. Why buy a knife for filleting fish if you don't work fish section? Catch my drift? if you purchase items as you need them it will take longer to build a kit but it will be quality, as opposed to buying everything you ever need but cheap stuff that won't last.
If you can say more about your job I'm sure you'll get better suggestions about kit you may need or find useful, what section do you work? What kind of mise en place do you have?
If you've been cooking for 6 years, you should be able to look at the menu and determine what tools you need for this particular restaurant.
What tools do the other cooks have?