When people find out you write about food in a blog like this, after some initial shuffling embarrassment the questions start: why do you do it? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Slightly easier to answer is: got any tips in the kitchen?
Because the best answer I can give is to get yourself one or two really good knives. Bin the ones you picked up in Matalan; save up a bit and buy a good brand (and a sharpening steel!). I probably only use a small knife for fine cutting, a large one for general work like dicing vegetables, and a bread knife. What’s the best brand? Like many of these things it’s personal preference; I really like Henckels, lots like Global, others swear by Sabatier. But what do the chefs use?
For as long as I can remember Heston has been a fan of Tojiro knives. He even asked for a set of them as his luxury item on Desert Island Discs in 2006. I’d love to own one but they’re priced a little out of my range. Thankfully Grunwerg have released the Heston Blumenthal Kitchen Knives range, styled on the Tojiro knife, which is far more affordable.
I was sent one of these Santoku knives, and they are absolutely beautiful. A lovely weighting, not too heavy but well-balanced. When I slid it out of the box after a quick sharpening I pounced on an onion, slicing, dicing and chopping. It cut through with no effort at all. If I had one criticism it is one common to many of this kind of knife, and that’s the steep angle of the blade encourages moist food to stick to it. As you slice through a cucumber for example the slices will stick to the knife and sometimes they roll off all over the place. What’s difficult to get across is just how much easier a decent knife makes things: you can cut quicker, cleaner and finer. You will genuinely save yourself time in the kitchen with a decent knife, and this blade is an excellent choice.
With thanks to Hannah for the knife and Helen for tipping her off!