View Full Version : What was the name of that top-of-the-line Chef knife from Kitchen Confidential?

12-15-2006, 01:26 AM
I no longer have the Anthony Bordain book Kitchen Confidential, but there was one chapter about the best chef knife there was. Does anyone remember the name of the company? Or perhaps three's a chef that can recommend one? My brother just got promoted to Master Chef and I think that would be a great gift.

Much obliged

Hunter Hawk
12-15-2006, 01:31 AM
Are you thinking of Global knives?

I think they're one of those things you really need to handle before deciding whether you want one, so you might want to make sure and get a gift receipt just in case.

12-15-2006, 01:36 AM
That doesn't sound like it from the book - it sounded more Asian. Although I checked out that site - what size should I get? Again, he was promoted to Master Chef so he knows what he's doing. (He was a line cook for 25 years).

12-15-2006, 01:41 AM
OK, after some Google Fu, I think he does promote the Global knife in his book. So, what size should I get for him?

12-15-2006, 04:17 AM
Knives are very, very personal. A knife that suits one person perfectly may not suit another person in terms of weight and balance.

I'd get him a gift certificate, or ask him straight out what he'd like. Or, if he's not sure what you want, and if you live in the same area, go to a store with him and let him choose.

don't ask
12-15-2006, 04:32 AM
To be honest every chef I know, even every decent enthusiastic amateur is already committed to a relationship with a set of knives.

From Kitchen Confidential:

You need, for God's sake, a decent chef's knife. No con foisted on the general public is so atrocious, so wrongheaded, or so widely believed as the one that tells you you need a full set of specialized cutlery in various sizes. I wish sometimes I could go through the kitchens of amateur cooks everywhere just throwing knives out from their drawers - all those medium-size 'utility' knives, those useless serrated things you see advertised on TV, all that hard-to-sharpen stainless-steel garbage, those ineptly designed slicers - not one of the damn things could cut a tomato. Please believe me, here's all you will ever need in the knife department: ONE good chef's knife, as large as is comfortable for your hand. Brand name? Okay, most talented amateurs get a boner buying one of the old-school professional high-carbon stainless knives from Germany or Austria, like a Henkel or Wusthof, and those are fine knives, if heavy. High carbon makes them slightly easier to sharpe! n, and stainless keeps them from getting stained and corroded. They look awfully good in the knife case at the store, too, and you send the message to your guests when flashing a hundred-dollar hunk of Solingen steel that you take your cooking seriously. But do you really need something so heavy? So expensive? So difficult to maintain (which you probably won't)? Unless you are really and truly going to spend fifteen minutes every couple of days working that blade on an oiled carborundum stone, followed by careful honing on a diamond steel, I'd forgo the Germans.

Most of the professionals I know have for years been retiring their Wusthofs and replacing them with the lightweight, easy-to-sharpen and relatively inexpensive vanadium steel Global knives, a very good Japanese product which has - in addition to its many other fine qualities - the added attraction of looking really cool.

Global makes a lot of knives in different sizes, so what do you need? One chef's knife. This should cut just about anything you might work with, from a shallot to a watermelon, an onion to a sirloin strip. Like a pro, you should use the tip of the knife for the small stuff, and the area nearer the heel for the larger. This isn't difficult; buy a few rutabagas or onions - they're cheap - and practice on them. Nothing will set you apart from the herd quicker than the ability to handle a chef's knife properly. If you need instruction on how to handle a knife without lopping off a finger, I recommend Jacques Pepin's La Technique.

Ferret Herder
12-15-2006, 06:11 AM
I love Global (they're a Japanese company which probably is what stuck in your mind) - in fact, I checked them out after reading Bourdain's book - but I agree with the other posters that knife choice is very specific. It has to fit your hand, balance well in your grip, and generally work well for your style and needs. Even very particular things can make a difference. Some people don't like the Globals because of their "odd" grips - that's all metal with little "divots" in it, with some kind of lacquer coloring them. I find it's a nice non-slip addition but others dislike the feel.

Years ago I bought this Global knife (http://www.yoshikin.co.jp/w/products/global/gsf-31.html) to use as a paring knife; before purchasing I did hold it in my hand but didn't practice much with it as if I were cutting, and that might have made a difference. It's very short, and that little "dip" in the bottom of the handle just after the blade is rather shallow. I found that many times I would (without looking at what I was doing) lay the knife down on the cutting board with the blade pointing away from me, but then pick the knife back up as if this weren't the case, with the sharp edge pointing up, which is a serious risk of cutting yourself. I've since changed to a knife with a more obviously "asymmetrical" shape to it so that this isn't a risk for me; when I touch the knife it's very obvious without paying attention which way the handle is supposed to rest in my hand, and I can tell out of even peripheral vision what direction the blade is oriented.

12-15-2006, 06:34 AM
If he's a Master Chef, he has his own knives already, or at the very least (as others say), he likes a particular brand.

If you want to buy him a gift, I'd go with perishables. A nice bottle of wine (if that's his thing) or a gift certificate to that hot new restaurant in town. Or some high end foods - whatever he's into, seafood, fine oils/vinegars, etc.

But really, you're treading thin ground when you try to buy something in a person's career or hobby base. Most people either have everything they need within a reasonable price, or they're very picky about what they want. I'd go with something non-cheffy, myself, unless you know for sure that he really, really wants item X.

12-15-2006, 10:28 AM
The winning chef on Top Chef in this week's challange won a set of 25 Global knives. And an invitation to work for Spago Hollywood if he ever needed a job.


12-15-2006, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the replies, folks. After some innocent prodding, I found out that, as Athena mentioned, he already has his own knives that he would rather stab me with than replace.

I went with the 3 Heritage Reserve Pinots from Schug. Comes with its own wood logo box, signed by Walter himself. (I'm a club member).

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