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TOPIC: Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs

Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13663

  • razoredgeknives
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I have a potential customer I am going to sharpen some knives for in about a week... he is a professional chef at a high end restaurant here in Greenville. I spoke w/ him about the service I offer w/ the WEPS and he seemed excited and said that he knows of a bunch of other chefs in the area looking for a good sharpener. I am going to sharpen his knives first and then set up a demo at his restaurant after he gets it approved through management. Any tips? Was just thinking of going to 1k and a few passes on each side w/ strops... I know others here have done this with restaurants and seemed to work well. I will be doing it in my trailer after I get the business, so that way I have access to all my sharpening equipment. but the WEPS will def. be the way to go on this one =)
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13665

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Well I'm not the one to advise you, as you have been a great help to me. I will wish you the best of luck and keep both fingers crossed for you! I am very sure you will do great! :woohoo:
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13668

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I'm a chef by trade also, my only insight is cook's are ruthless with their knives. They smash their knives on cutting boards, they drag their knives on cutting boards, and many of us don't even understand how to sharpen, so this means you have the potential for a lot of business:) Most kitchen cutlery is "soft" steel and the diamonds stones are great for that, you'll find yourself working the belly of the blade especially on chef knives a lot more then anywhere else on the edge because they drag or pull their knifes left to right when for example chopping herbs. you'll be working the coarse 50/80 stones a lot or whatever your coarsest stones are:) I personally wouldn't even bother with the stops, unless I know the person receiving the knife will appreciate it. cook's like to use a steel and more often then actually necessary and will end up destroying the edge the first day after you sharpen their knives. Sharpening demos are great and people will love being able to see the wicked edge, if your able to show people the benefits of a sharp knife, proper care, how to sharpen, what a burr feels like, and if you can show them pictures of what an edge looks like under magnification, in my experience of doing demos people really enjoy the visual aspect of learning. Good luck dude.
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13670

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Thanks Nicholas! This is exactly the type of information I'm looking for!
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13702

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I think that's the way to go. The chef's that I've run across haven't had an edge like that before. I like to sharpen like your suggesting because it gets it sharp and pretty. Once they feel the difference they want to keep it that way like most folks. The nice looking edge will make it that much easier for them to say "hey look at this " and show it off. I just tell people some basic tips to keep it sharp. It's the first impressions using it that matters I think . Just do what you were planning and I don't think you'll go wrong , the edge will sell itself
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13719

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Hey Josh, sounds like an exciting opportunity! I had a similar opportunity a while ago. I went to the restaurant (I had eaten there before and they knew me) and asked if I could have a word with the chef.

I had prepared two knives beforehand; finished with 10K Chosera's, not because it was the most practical for them, but because I wanted to make an impression. My biggest challenge was to make clear what a sharp knife was (simple nail trick or copy paper slicing helps). We then agreed I'd do a couple of knives as a test. I returned a few hours later (which also impressed them) and since then I sharpen their chef knives and a couple of other knives.

I wrote more extensively about it here: www.wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=c...678&Itemid=271#11078 . That threat also contains tips from other people.

Success in trying! Please let us know how things work out.
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13729

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Mark,

Thanks for posting this link! I remember reading the first few posts a while back, but didn't follow up on it... glad I did now! Thanks, I am sure all of the points will be very helpful when I go to demo/sharpen higher end knives.

Now, I am not a chef... so if they start talking in "chef" terms and certain chef "knife" terms I may not know what I am talking about... so do you have any pointers? I noticed you used the term "petty" knife, what does this mean? are there any other terms I should be familiar with?
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13755

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This is great!! it's great to see someone doing their homework.
so.... for chef's when it comes to knives....
Western Style
These blades are Japanese made, but in a Western style. Often with a full tang, welded bolster and Western style handle riveted to the knife, but very commonly with a traditional Japanese handle. All of these knives will be sharpened with a double bevel (sharpened on both sides).

Gyuto
Translates to "Cow Sword" this is a multi purpose knife with a slight meat cutting bias. The shape is based on the classic European chef's knife. This is the knife that will do everything for you. Sizes start at 180mm and can reach a ridiculous 360mm with 240mm being the most common. A Gyuto with a traditional Japanese handle is called a Wa-Gyuto.

Santoku
This is also a multi purpose knife, but with a slight vegetable bias. Santoku means 'Three Virtues' or 'To solve Three Problems'. The virtues or problems are slicing, dicing and mincing. Santoku is usually found in 160mm - 190mm lengths. These are more and more popular in Western kitchens due to the unique shape and smaller easy to handle size.

Paring
A smaller knife (100mm- 135mm) often used for cutting in the hand in stead of a cutting board. Great for peeling and smaller jobs.

Petty/Utility
This is the knife for smaller jobs that are done on a cutting board. Think slicing shallots, cutting herbs and boning smaller cuts of meat, fish or birds. Petty knives are making more appearances in professional kitchens lately.

Sujihiki
"Flesh Slicer" would be this knife's name in English. It does just what the name suggests. Roast beef/turkey, raw meats, fish, all flesh really is a Sujihiki's specialty.

Nakiri
A Nakiri is a vegetable knife. They are under utilized in the Western kitchen. The flat blade is meant for push/pull chopping of vegetables. Since the entire flat edge of the knife strikes (actually I should say 'kisses') the cutting board at once the chance of accordion vegetables is greatly reduced. Accordion vegetables are still connected like paper dolls after one finishes cutting them. You can pick them up and squeeze together like an accordion. To truly understand the benefit of a Nakiri make onion soup when you first bring this knife home. It will all be clear after the onions are chopped.

Honesuki
A Honesuki is a poultry boning knife. I've seen them called 'Tokyo Poultry Knives'. They make quick work of chicken, pheasant, duck and turkey butchery. As a side bonus they are also great for peeling round fruit. Just the right shape.

Japanese style
These are traditional Japanese blades. They have a single bevel (sharpened on one side), a half tang and a wooded handle. Some call these knives sushi blades. Since Japanese style blades are sharpened only on one side they are extremely sharp and easy to maintain. With a strong bevel on the front side and a concave back side these knives are effectively non-stick and slice through food with incredible ease. Single sided blades are generally right handed, but left handed models are available.

Usuba
Usuba translates as 'flat edge/blade'. The flat blade is meant for push/pull chopping of vegetables. Since the entire flat edge of the knife strikes (actually I should say 'kisses') the cutting board at once the chance of accordion vegetables is greatly reduced. Accordion vegetables are still connected like paper dolls after one finishes cutting them. You can pick them up and squeeze together like an accordion. To truly understand the benefit of an Usuba make onion soup when you first bring this knife home. It will all be clear after the onions are chopped.

Deba
This is the first knife a sushi chef uses. It is for filleting fish and butchery with boneless meat. Deba means 'short fat tooth' to describe the shape. Don't let the shape and weight of a Deba fool you, they are nimble and precise.

Yanagiba
A Yanagiba is a slicers dream. They are graceful, capable of amazing sharpness and sexy. Yanagi means 'willow leaf' and refers to this knife's long narrow shape. Traditionally used for slicing sashimi they are equally at home with a roast beef, ham or calf's liver. Yanagiba are originally from the Kansai (Osaka) region. Once you go Yanagiba you'll never go back.

Kiritsuke
A single sided chef's knife. These knives are designed to do most of the cutting tasks in a kitchen. A Kiritsuke can be used like a Usuba and Yanagiba.

My only other suggestion is make sure you take into account the type of steel each knife is made from, it should influence the type of sharpening media you use. Cooks get all excited for very hard steels but for the most part they can't afford to buy them, so they talk about it often.
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13758

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Josh, a chef knife (also called gyuto) is the knife nearly all chefs use 90% of the time. It ia a fairly large knife, 21-24 cm in length, sometimes even 27 cm. You can find many examples here: www.chefknivestogo.com/chef-knives.html

I have two gyuto's: a Richmond Artifex (www.chefknivestogo.com/riar21.html) and a Suisin Inox Honyaki (www.chefknivestogo.com/suinhowa21.html). Even though the Suisin is in a much higher class, I love both. I had my Artifex rehandled, convexed and thinned behind the edge. In this way you can improve the performance of many cheaper knives.

A petty, like Nicholas writes, is a smaller knife also for general cutting tasks, usually 14-18 cm. Here are examples: www.chefknivestogo.com/petty-knives.html

This is my petty, a Konosuke: www.chefknivestogo.com/kohdwa15.html

In most larger European restaurants there is one chef and a number of sous chefs. Each sous chef usually deals with a particular type of food, like meat, veggies or pastry. I am not sure about American kitchens, but it could well be that a sous chef is called a line chef in the US.

As you probably know, a knife used for meat requires a different edge than one used for veggies. Proteins usually benefit from a bit more toothy edge (although veggies with long fibers in them do soo, too.) However, the chefs usually don't know this. This is the reason that in the beginning, when I just wanted to impress these guys, I finished the knives with a 10K Chosera. Now I've explained it to them and actually asked them what edge they prefer and sometimes don't even go to the ceramic stones.
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Sharpening culinary for Professional Chefs 1 year 2 weeks ago #13762

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nicholas6225 wrote:
This is great!! it's great to see someone doing their homework.
so.... for chef's when it comes to knives....

Nice! (and Wiki worthy!) :)
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