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Knife Skills Classes

I'm thinking of taking one of these classes at the New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA but I'm not sure how much it will help me.

I can complete different cuts on vegetables but I'm not real good with meat. Also, I cut things extremely slowly.

Do these classes help increase speed? If they do the money would be well spent because my time in the kitchen could be cut down a lot.


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  1. I took a beginning knife skills class. Mine didn't teach you anything about meat, we practiced on vegetables. What it taught me was how to hold a knife correctly, where to place the knife to do that finger guide thing, and how important it was to have your knives sharp.

    Once you know how to hold the knife right, and how to do the finger guide thing, you can get quicker by practicing.

    1. I have never taken a class but would encourage you to do so since it's offered. Knife skills are very important. Repetition is key to most cooking skills. Like playing an instrument, learning the proper way and not having to unlearn bad habits is essential. I have been bitten more times than I care to admit by my knives but it's happening less these days as my techinque has improved.

      1. Speed comes with practice and nothing else. If the class teaches you to be more confident with a knife you will still be slow but with your new confidence you will get faster.

        To break down meats and fowl you would need a butchering class. Not very many of them about I don't think. Again, over time and practice, practice, practice, you can become fairly proficient. More than enough to get by in your own kitchen. I am totally self taught and it took many years to get to my level which is still way short of professional. But it's good enough for my needs.

        1. I've taught a basic knife skills class in the past...we covered different types of knives, how to hold and use them, how to hone and sharpen, other basic care information, and basic cuts: dices, juliennes, roll cuts, etc. I also taught how to break down a chicken. Didn't do any butchering besides that.

          I definitely didn't emphasize speed in my classes. Instead safety and practice. Speed will develop if you regularly use your skills properly. The classes help you develop the skills.

          1. Wow, BobMack,
            Were you listening in on my conversation last night? My friend and I were talking about where we'll be taking our first knife skills classes.
            I'm pretty bad-assed with a knife but I want to know "techinique" and all the "proper" ways to do things.
            We have chosen to take a knife skills course at Sur La Table, since my friend has taken several of their classes and found them to be informative, professional, and worth the price.
            I checked in with teh NSC in Culver City but I didn't see a knife skills class...where did you find it and when is it?

            3 Replies
            1. re: tatertotsrock

              They offer them pretty regularly. I see them once a month or so on their class schedule.

              1. re: tatertotsrock

                I guess knife skills is on everybody's mind. I was looking to take a class on it in NYC. I'm not that great at cutting and want to learn.

                1. re: tatertotsrock

                  I downloaded the winter schedule and they offer a couple in January and Feb.

                2. Do it! Good knife skills will increase your speed with practice but most importantly they will greatly decrease your risk of serious injury due to poor technique or a dull knife.
                  I'd say that knife skills are a huge confidence booster and will lead to more productive time spent in a kitchen - freeing you up to cook!

                  1. My husband and I just took a 12 hour knife skills class (3 evenings/4 hours each) at a well regarded Culinary School in Toronto.

                    We both cook alot and have good knife skills but some bad habits. Picked up a few good new techniques for vegetables and was really happy with the fish filleting exercise (also boning chicken but I do alot of that already).

                    I think the major contribution to learning was the repetition and availability of lots of practice material. I would probably never buy 6 rainbow trout to fillet them all - same thing with the vegetables. We must have chopped over a dozen each of carrots, onions, celery, etc.

                    So if you have reasonable knife skills already - maybe just invest in some raw ingredients and watch a couple of the videos on line. Although we did have fun in the class as well!

                    1. A friend of mine took that class at the school in Culver City. He's a very good cook who just wanted to improve his knife skills and speed. He was very pleased with the result. Of course.....THEN you have to practice.