When it comes to kitchen tools, knives are often overlooked for Dutch ovens and classic saucepans. But from mincing garlic and herbs to carving a roast chicken, equipping your kitchen with the right knives is essential to your success as a home chef.
Based in Brooklyn, Garrett Wade sources vintage never-used knives from Thiers, France. Made more than 50 years ago, each of their knives features rosewood handles and brass rivets.
“It’s like owning a piece of history in your kitchen. The design is timeless and beautiful, and of course useful,” says Garrett Wade’s Tanisha Peten.
The Garrett Wade philosophy is simple: to find and bring you unique tools and other hands-on products of exceptional quality and solid value, in terms of design, materials and workmanship—in short: tools that will improve your work, enrich your life and, hopefully, make your heart beat just a little bit faster.
Here’s our guide to the five kitchen knives you need to own and how to use them.
13” Chef’s Knife
This universal kitchen knife is a must-have tool for any home or professional chef.
“For me, the best kitchen knife for the home cook would have to be a 13-inch chef’s knife,” says Darren Pettigrew, the chef at Valerie in Midtown. “A good chef’s knife, like the chef, is a multitasker. It’s designed to handle multiple jobs, chopping, slicing, dicing, filleting— it does it all.”
The 13-inch length is ideal for prepping larger pieces of food such as carving up chicken, but if you select a sturdy yet lightweight one, such as Garrett Wade’s, you’ll also reach for it when chopping up vegetables.
10” Serrated Slicing Knife
If you think you’ll only use a serrated knife for slicing bread, think again. A 10-inch serrated knife is also useful for thinly slicing meats or cheeses not to mention produce such as tomatoes, peppers and even watermelons.
5” Marin Style Utility Knife
One of the most overlooked knives, utility knives are ideal for scaling and filleting fish as well finely dicing vegetables.
“The second-most-used knife beside my chef’s knife would be the 5-inch utility knife,” says Jamie Hogg, executive chef at Gran Tivoli in lower Manhattan. “A well-maintained utility knife should be able to brunoise a Spanish onion in about 0.001 of a second. Maybe not that fast but pretty fast!”
5” Paring Knives
Similar to a chef’s knife but smaller, a good paring knife is what you need for small precise cutting. Use it to take the skin off apples, peel onions and complete other small detailed kitchen tasks.
Not a knife, but another must-have for any home chef, kitchen shears are useful for everything from deboning a chicken to harvesting fresh herbs from the garden. Once you use them you’ll never understand why you waited so long to get one.
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