Having the right knives is essential in the professional kitchen environment. Always choose the right knife for the job. Never use a knife that feels too heavy or too large for you as this could lead to serious injury
Santoku or Chef’s Knife – With a wide heavy blade, this knife is the work horse of your set. Its primary functions are chopping, slicing and dicing. You should choose a knife that feels comfortable in your hand with good weight distribution.
Cimiter– A long curved blade makes this knife ideal for cutting steaks and various cuts of meat. It is also perfect for fileting fish and also can be used as a boning knife, making filet knives and boning knives obsolete. Look for a knife with a length that feels appropriate for you.
Carving Knife and Fork – Primarily used for table side carving, this knife is an essential tool for serving prime rib. Find a knife with an appropriate length for the chef that is using it.
Serrated Sandwich Knife – A must have on your cold sandwich and lunch stations. This is a knife that needs little sharpening, allowing the user to continually produce without having to deal with a dull knife blade. A very versatile knife that can be used for slicing through just about anything with ease.
Paring Knife – A small knife that carries a big workload in the professional kitchen. It is used for removing skins and rinds from fruits and vegetables. It also is perfect for deveining shrimp and for working with shellfish or anything that requires a detailed touch.
Along with your knife set you ‘ll need a good quality sharpening steel . Sharpening a knife with a steel is a skill every chef must master. A sharp knife will make clean and precise cuts while a dull knife is extremely dangerous as your cuts can be deflected. Always exercise proper knife safety.
Never use any “gadgets”designed for sharpening a knife as they are exremely dangerous if not used properly. Using these “quick and easy” tools can result in serious injuries to yourself and others!
Knife sharpening gadgets are extremely dangerous and do not belong in a professional kitchen. If you currently own one of these quick sharpening tools discard it immediately. These devices can and do cause devastating harm and injury to your staff!! Every chef should master sharpening a knife with a proper steel.
Cutlery has been made in many places. In Britain, the industry became concentrated by the late 16th century in and around Birmingham and Sheffield. However, the Birmingham industry increasingly concentrated on swords, made by “long cutlers”, and on other edged tools, whereas the Sheffield industry concentrated on knives.
At Sheffield the trade of cutler became divided, with allied trades such as razormaker, awlbladesmith, shearsmith and forkmaker emerging and becoming distinct trades by the 18th century.
Before the mid 19th century when cheap mild steel became available due to new methods of steelmaking, knives (and other edged tools) were made by welding a strip of steel on to the piece of iron that was to be formed into a knife, or sandwiching a strip of steel between two pieces of iron. This was done because steel was then a much more expensive commodity than iron. Modern blades are sometimes laminated, but for a different reason. Since the hardest steel is brittle, a layer of hard steel may be laid between two layers of a milder, less brittle steel, for a blade that keeps a sharp edge well, and is less likely to break in service.
After fabrication, the knife had to be sharpened, originally on a grindstone, but from the late medieval period in a blade mill or (as they were known in the Sheffield region) a cutlers wheel.