Because we eat organic whole foods, I cook almost all of our meals from scratch. Most of the time, it’s fairly quick and painless, but if I really take the time to cook all the produce we should be eating (which is about half of what we eat), I would be chopping all day. See, I do not possess what you call “knife skills.” In fact, if I really need something diced, chopped or sliced up nicely or finely (especially meats or anything mildly considered “hard-to-cut”), I ask my husband. He’s a lean mean chopping machine. (Is it just me or does it seem like all guys are born with these skills?)
Back when we actually had satellite TV, I used to watch the Food Network for hours on end, longing to be able to chop that fast and effortlessly – like they were cutting through butter. I’ve even carefully studied the superior “show” strokes of the Japanese steakhouse chefs that cook right before your eyes. Then I would try to imitate it, with a lot less grace, at home to no avail. If I could do what all of those chefs could do, we would be eating a lot more vegetables and even fancier meals in no time flat. Seriously, I take FOREVER to chop up anything. What someone can normally do in about 10 minutes takes me about 20. Maybe 30. Not kidding. I avoid onions altogether because, frankly, who likes to cry for 30+ minutes? But perhaps what I need isn’t a new set of hands. Maybe it’s a new set of knives!
We received a gorgeous (and very big) wooden cutting board along with a very good quality set of stainless steel kitchen knives (perfectly labeled for what each were intended) when we got married many years ago. I use them often and though my cooking skills have vastly improved, my chopping skills remain the same. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit disappointed in their performance. In fact, those knives dull often and one of the serrated ones has started to slightly rust. The tip even chipped a bit. I constantly “fight” with my knives and without those handy labels, I wouldn’t know which knife was supposed to cut what. (My husband often corrects me in which knife I should be using to cut whatever it is that I am unsuccessfully attempting.)
So, I was a excited to receive 3 brand new promising Chicago Cutlery DesignPro Knives. These are some serious knives – ultra sharp, high quality Japanese steel blades with steel/black polymer contoured handles and a sleek design to match. Since knives should never be stored in a drawer (besides possible injury, the blades dull when they come in to contact with hard objects), each knife comes with its own protective sheath. I received the:
- 8-inch Chef (Chops, dices, slices and minces with the rocking motion of the blade.)
- 5-inch Partoku (A Santoku-Paring knife hybrid with a wide blade and a Granton edge, or oval indentations, to easily scoop, separate and release cut food. Used for chopping, dicing, slicing and even good for slicing cheese.)
- 5-inch Scalloped Utility (Carves small meats and peels and slice fruits and vegetables.)
I will admit, however, that when I first saw them, I got a bit frightened. I had never been around a set of knives so heavy, shiny and sharp! They were intimidating. That is, until I held one in my hands – they were so comfortable to grip. I felt like one of those professional chefs and instantly knew that these would change my life, or so I hoped.
Unfortunately, it did, but not in the way I intended. As I was daydreaming away about becoming a professional chef, the Scalloped Utility knife sliced my thumb within the first couple of minutes (before I even used them!) when I not-so-carefully tried to put it back in its protective sheath. Didn’t I mention that I lacked knife skills? Apparently, I also lack common sense. I’d advise you to not try this at home. Five hundred dollars, seven stitches and lots of nerve damage later, I am still trying to conquer the fear of that particular knife. And in case you’re wondering, the knife works well. Really well.
- Lots of practice
- Proper grip
- A good set of sharp knives
Confidence – still getting there (minor setback with the serrated knife bout a few weeks ago). Practice – got it covered! A good set of sharp knives – check! Proper grip – these knives have it built in. They have innovative grip guides along the sides of the knives. These laser etched dots remind you of where the optimal position is for maximum control and performance.
(Aside from my thumb) I really think that these superior knives can change the way I view myself as a “cutter” in the kitchen. I may become a semi-pro after all! Or at least better than my husband, if he ever trusts me with a knife again.
Join me in my journey of learning proper cutting technique and as I conquer my fear of the knife that almost chopped off my thumb in the coming weeks. (I promise I won’t get carried away and think I am one of those Japanese steakhouse chefs again!)
I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Chicago Cutlery and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.