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Culinary Student In Dier Need Of Quality Knife Set

Is there any one out there who could either a. Be willing to sell a nice inexspensive quality set to me? or b. guide me in the right direction as far as where to go?' what to look for ? What is too exspensive? What is a quality knife to a chef already established in the industry other than your mainstream mega manufactured knives such as Westhoff. J.A Henkle etc...?.Please Help. Also any tips on the art of creating sauces?

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  1. So much depends on what you have to spend. Victorionox Fibrox are the standard entry level industry knifes. If funds are tight get one at a time , it's never a good idea to buy sets,, a 8 or 10 inch chef knife a paring knife and you are good to go. Most places will have a bread knife you can use. Other knifes depend on where you want to work and your skill set.

    In fine dining you are going to find mostly knives from japanese companies, which start at higher prices and sky rocket from there. Good entry level brands include Tojiro, Misono... Locally you will find Japanese knifes at Anzen Hardware, Mutual Trading Co. an importer that will usually sell to culinary students. Victorionox are commonly available, but you can always check out Ross cutlery downtown.

    1. In Downtown LA, go to Anzen Hardware and ask for Nori. Discuss your needs with him. Take his advice. He will do you right. I recommend Western style Japanese knives. If you’re serious, you’ll want high carbon steel for a superior edge, but you’ll need to invest in a set of quality stones and learn the fine art of knife sharpening. Masahiro and Takayuki, are fine knives. Nenohi/Nenox are, arguably, the best. Anzen does not carry Nenohi, but Mutual Trading and Korin do. You don't need a Nenohi as a beginning student, unless you've got deep pockets and will settle for nothing less than the best. Then there's the world of custom knives like Shigefusa, Azai and Takeda among many others ... worlds of wonder!

      You may get a kick out of this short clip:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7PRPI...

      If you’re unsure of your commitment (to knives, not cooking), take a look at Misono, Mac and Global stainless steel knives. They are all decent.

      Anzen Hardware
      309 E 1st Street
      Los Angeles, CA 90012
      (213) 628-7600

      Also good, but not as knowledgeable, is:

      Mutual Trading Company
      431 Crocker Street
      Los Angeles, CA 90013-2180
      (213) 626-9458

      On the web, for information and consultation, go to:

      http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulletin...

      http://zknives.com/

      Good online suppliers include:

      http://korin.com/site/home.html

      http://www.paulsfinest.com/

      http://www.chefknivestogo.com/

      http://www.epicureanedge.com/

      http://www.lamtc.com/

      1. Also a cook needs to know how to take care of there own tools. You need to factor in the cost of a Japanese water stone into your budget. A King combo stone is a fine entry level stone, Learn how to sharpen. There some good videos on youtube (and a lot of bad ones)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MezIEK...

        1. This is what we had flying around at one LA kitchen: Misono UX10, Global, Messermeister, Shun Classic, Nenox, MAC, and some Japanese brands that I couldn't identify.

          Until you can sharpen and sharpen well, don't buy anything too expensive ($150 for a chef's is plenty expensive).

          1. Folks, this post was originally posted to the L.A. board and we have moved it to the Cookware board, where cutlery is discussed. Please note that the purpose of this board is NOT to unite buyers and sellers, just to discuss the pros and cons of any given cooking implements, so please no offers to buy or sell to each other here.

            In terms of creating sauces, that would be discussed as a separate topic on the Home Cooking board.

            Thanks.

            1. I say you are correct. The standard belongs to Henckels, Wusthof and Messermeister. I also agree with jaykayen. Some chefs have started to embraced the sharper Japanese knives like Misono, Global, Shun, Mac... Best wishes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                Hi, if your still looking for knives I suggest you go out and try some from the different retailers around town. Most of these would gladly offer the use of test units for you to try. If your just starting out, just buy a chef's and a pairing knife. You can work your way up to buying other knives depending on the kind of work your doing. For now, the two are all you need. The question of blade length will be answered once you try out some knives. If money is an object then I recommend you go for the old dependable european models (ie. henkels, wusthof, sabatier, victorinox). I have an old wusthof chef's and pairing that can still work wonders up to this day; a testament to the durability of these knives. The european models are relatively expensive but would be nice starter knives for a student like yourself. Don't be a cheapskate. Cheap = garbage.:-) these maybe harsh words but ask any cook worth their salt; they'll mostly recommend the european knives as starter sets. If money is no object then I recommend the Japanese knives mentioned above. Mac, Masamoto, Hattori, Ryusen and Misono have excellent knives. I am currently using a Misono UX10 240 mm gyuto and a 120 mm petty and they are just spectacular. Perfect balance, good edge out of the box, light weight and aesthetically good looking in my opinion. One drawback is that these knives will put a dent in your savings. If your loaded, then go the custom route. I'm not familiar with US custom knife makers but give a shout out to koki iwahara from JCK and he'll direct you to custom knife makers in Japan. Be ready to spend serious cash though because the cost of these knives will really hurt. Like 1200 USD a piece! I would never buy expensive knives like those just for grunt work. Hope this helped. Good luck!

                1. I'd get a couple Kiwi knives.

                  http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

                  They're very thin, razor sharp, light, and easy to handle. And if one gets swiped by a sticky-fingered schoolmate, you've lost at most $10. I've had mine for a couple weeks now and have been thrilled with it--it cuts as well as my friend's Shun. Plus my research has shone they keep their edge for quite a while, with a little honing maintenance. When they've given all they can give, just buy more.

                  The largest knife has a 7.5" (or perhaps 8") blade; the next knife down is 6.5". Pick one of those according to your preference along with a paring knife and you're good to go. With shipping, you'll spend about $15.

                  1. I've heard quite a bit about nice knives 'growing legs' in cooking school. As such, I'd recommend something cheap and functional - say forschners. I haven't tried the kiwi knives, but I keep on seeing posts from people who love them - the price is right, anyway.

                    If you want to splurge, splurge on some nice sharpening stones and learn to use them well. That will make much more of a difference in how your knives perform than buying super expensive knives in the first place.

                    On the other hand, if you're loaded already and don't mind spending money on knives that will likely be stolen or abused by your classmates you have many options. The industry has now largely embraced hard, acute, and very sharp Japanese-made or -modeled knives like the ones Jaykayen, Chemicalkinetics, and Gcat have recommended. I personally have a few I've accumulated, but my main knife for some time now has been a Hiromoto AS 240mm gyuto, which is a fantastic knife a decent price.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      Cowboy,

                      I believe the Hiromoto AS is made of aogami steel (blue paper steel) as the cutting core and cladded with 420J stainless steel. So my question to you is: Do you treat it more like a carbon steel knife or more like a stainless steel knife? In other words, do you simply wipe the knife once or twice after use to keep remove most of the water? Or do you have to wipe the knife 10+ times to keep the knife as dry as possible? Thanks.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        It forms a dark patina VERY quickly - like in the first use after sharpening quick. Once it forms that patina, it is almost stainless. I wipe it if I cut something very acidic. And after use. It formed small rust spots once - a friend used it for some serious prep before it had formed much of a patina and then left it unwiped for hours. The spots polished right off, but I guess you can't treat it exactly like stainless. I probably wipe it more often than needed. I do not oil the blade though.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          BTW, I just noticed - its actually aogami SUPER steel - basically blue steel with added chromium and tungsten for toughness and wear resistance. Takeda uses aogami super as well.

                          The 'super' doesn't mean its necessarily any better than regular blue steel, though in practice aogami super is probably my favorite knife steel out of those I've used.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            HI Cowboy,

                            Yes, I noticed it is super blue steel with chromium, but I remember it is no where near the 13% Cr as standard stainless steel. Maybe 3%? I assumed it behaves more like a typical blue paper steel than a stainless steel because of it. I cannot remember the exact Cr% and do not have access to that website at this moment.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              You're correct. I don't remember the chromium content offhand either, but it's nowhere near 13%. If aogami super steel behaves somewhat like a stainless steel, it is ironically because of how fast it forms a patina.

                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            I just bought this, and used it for the first time this week. It developed patina really fast. Like, I turned around to wash my hands, and when I turned back, there was a small dark spot. I just wipe if I'm not going to use the knife for a few minutes.

                            1. re: jaykayen

                              Nice, since cowboyaree and you agree, then it must be true. The patina only develops at the very edge, right? Afterall, only the cutting edge is made of blue steel, the cladding blade is made of 420J stainless steel.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                The cladding ends about 6-8 mm before the edge.

                          3. re: cowboyardee

                            "I've heard quite a bit about nice knives 'growing legs' in cooking school. As such, I'd recommend something cheap and functional"

                            Definitely agree with this. Even once you get out into the work world, if you're not careful, your knives and other tools can go walking or be used improperly (you know, someone walks by your station and needs a knife quickly to pry open a container). Also, when you are at school, you may still be figuring out what works best for all the new techniques you are learning.

                            I would not go with a 'set', but pick up knives as you need them based on what will work for you. And don't go with the expensive knives until you know for sure that's what you want. I made the error of buying an expensive set of knives based on recommendations at cooking school. Then my entire toolbox was stolen. Luckily, (a) my Nana gave me the money to replace them and (b) I hated those knives anyway. I replaced them with much cheaper knives (Canada Cutlery) with the idea that I would replace them when I was working. I'm still using those knives 15 years later and never bothered to replace them.