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Good knives for a pastry cook?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been a pastry line/prep cook for one year, using the Mercer knives I received from school. I'm moving into my own apartment in Boston & would like to take these knives home from work, so I'll need new knives for work. I need a chef's knife, paring knife, and serrated. I would also like to purchase a straight edge knife in the future. I need knives that'll do the job, and I know they're an investment. I don't know much about the different manufacturers or styles. Any advice to get me started?

post #2 of 7

Choosing the right knives are mostly personal preference, but yeah, don't buy cheap ones. Good brands are Wüsthof, Global, Henckels/Zwilling, Masahiro, Bunmei, Kasumi, Tamahagane, and Kyocera (but I personally don't like ceramic knives, they're sharp, but you can't sharpen them yourself, and pounding on the side of the knife to crush a clove of garlic is a big no-no, cause you'll break it). 

 

You've been in the kitchen long enough to know what feels good in your hand, so when you go to pick out your knives, bring some stuff to cut up, like lemons or tomatoes or whatever. Test them out. All cooks have their own (strong) opinion about what the best knife is, and everybody is different. Most of my chef friends prefer a longer chef's knife, but I like mine to be on the shorter side. So mostly, your decision will be based on what feels right to you.

post #3 of 7

Sounds like you are just starting out, it's not so much what knives to buy but what knives to avoid. I strongly suggest avoiding carbon steels, single beveled edges and any Japanese knives to start. Any mass produced brand like Wusthof, Shun, F-DICK etc. will serve your needs. Also avoid ceramic knives at all costs, these are a joke. I don't mean to belittle you but if you are asking for brands/styles you have a lot to learn about knives, just don't buy anything too expensive and you'll be OK.

 

A lot of the less knife-knowledgeable people at my work pick up my carbon steels and start asking why my sujihiki sucks at portioning strip steaks, why I cringe when I see someone try to take a steel to my petty polished on a 10K stone or why my single edged usuba won't cut straight LOL. If the tool is too advanced for the user you will perform very poorly is what I am trying to get at. I had a prep cook buy a $250 gyuto to replace his $80 Wusthof Chef's knife and he can't even mince chives with any sort of accuracy now. He's very frustrated to say the least and he can't understand why the gyuto isn't performing like his old knife, it's because HIS skills haven't caught up to using a blade profile like a gyuto before.

 

 

What type of kitchen in Boston are you working in you don't mind me asking? I work in Boston too, pretty good food scene developing here.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
@chefpeon thank you!

@linecook854 I work at a high volume brasserie in Kenmore, 95% scratch kitchen.

As a pastry cook, there is much less emphasis on knives and knife skills, so yes I do have a lot to learn, hence my asking. I know I don't want a Japanese knife, the maintenance is not appealing to me. I have a steel that I hone my chef and paring knives with regularly.
post #5 of 7
I agree @KayRah....I'm way more interested in getting a collection of decent spatulas than I am knives! And my knife skills are OK, if not a little on the sucky side. I really only use three knives: a good chef's knife, a long serrated knife and a paring knife. I've never needed anything else in the pastry shop. The hot side may kick my ass in the knife skill dept, but I laugh at them every time they pick up a pastry bag! 😜
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayRah View Post

@chefpeon thank you!

@linecook854 I work at a high volume brasserie in Kenmore, 95% scratch kitchen.

As a pastry cook, there is much less emphasis on knives and knife skills, so yes I do have a lot to learn, hence my asking. I know I don't want a Japanese knife, the maintenance is not appealing to me. I have a steel that I hone my chef and paring knives with regularly.

 

I worked at E.S. too! I did GM for a little bit, hated that cramped oyster/GM nook over there!

post #7 of 7

Knife wise you don't need much. a good slicer and a paring knife mostly.

 

Hot line prep I used a chef knife and a good Nakiri/ Vegetable knife for just about everything. Lots of vegetable prep. So many onions.....:rolleyes:

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