I have been lurking for a while and finally decided to reach out and ask for some advice.
I have seen a bunch of "recommend me a Japanese knife" threads but none that really touched on my exact needs so here it goes.
I am a home kitchen Samurai (in my own mind). . . No professional experience but living in such a foodie paradise (New Orleans) I have lofty ambitions for my own amateur home eatery (which has just myself and a guest here and there as patrons). =P
As such I am finding my off the shelf henckels knives thoroughly lacking as of late and am wanting to start investing in some more ambitious hardware. Like many a novice culinary nerd before me, I am trying not to be seduced by the William-Sonoma Shun regime. Thus, I am here to pick the brains of you all.
What I am looking for first is a workhorse. I do a lot of chopping / dicing / slicing of veggies. As well as slicing off thin cuts of meat. When chopping / dicing I tend to rock chop. I have a nice end grain hardwood board to use. I use a wall mounted magnetic rack (as I have read about the perils of long term block use). I also tend to clean my knives shortly, if not immediately after use. I don't mind using a honing rod before uses but prefer to leave full on sharpening sessions to the pros at lengthy intervals (once per year hopefully?) As for aesthetics I do love the look of the damascus blades. I also prefer understated handles (wood, etc).
As for budget, I don't mind paying for quality. I would say for my main workhorse (Santoku or whatever type of knife is most recommended) I would prefer to keep it ~300ish.
At any rate, looking forward to some good discussion.
Thanks for any and all help!