A Love Letter to My Knife

I got interested in food somewhere in the early- to mid- nineties. I’d just graduated from University, and finally had a job and a place of my own. I had a fiance and, later, husband. I was an adult.

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I had a very close-knit group of friends in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, primarily tied to the theatre community there, but one day, someone new was introduced to our circle. Don Genova was a food journalist from Toronto, working at the CBC. His wife worked with my friend, Mike, at the country radio station in town, and Don was, and still is, a dedicated foodie.

My first taste of curry was one he cooked, my first bite of sushi also was with him. He introduced me to a world that I didn’t know existed (because it didn’t in Corner Brook, Newfoundland!). We literally had one gourmet specialty food store in our hamlet of 24,000, and I started to spend a lot of time there. Garam Masala! Miso paste! Kumquats!

In February of 1995, we flew out to Vancouver to visit my family. I had been cooking more and more with fresh herbs, experimenting with growing them in the tough, rocky, Newfoundland soil. My parents were living in Richmond, so I went to the Landsdowne House of Knives, and purchased my very first chef knife.

It’s a Victorinox (they’re the people that make Swiss Army Knives), and at the time it cost me $40, which seemed like a huge investment. But I love that knife. I have used it pretty much every single day of my life since I bought it. It has the perfect rock for mincing herbs and garlic, I can chop an onion with it in seconds flat, and it’s not too heavy if I’m doing a lot of chopping. Its long-time companion has been an $8 wooden Ikea cutting board that I have taken careful care of, making sure I oil it after it comes out of the dishwasher.

I have a sharpener, but every year or so, I take it back to the House of Knives to get a professional sharpening. The least you can do for the tool that you use the most in the kitchen, your workhorse.

What’s your favorite kitchen tool?

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6 comments

  1. Susan Weiss says:

    I gotta say that the two knives I have are my favourite tool in the kitchen. (Like what Giada uses on her show).
    Runner-up is the corkscrew – cannot live without one, (or two or three). Nothin’ fancy, just functional!
    Great post Rebecca and thanks for sharing.
    Susan

  2. Susan Weiss says:

    PS: Just for the record I did not get my knives because Giada uses the same kind of knife. When I bought them I did not even know who Giada is/was!

  3. Nothing wrong with buying something because a celebrity chef endorses it! 🙂

  4. Duncan says:

    I too certainly have 2 favorites The first is when I started chef school in 1985 and bought a Henkle 4 Star 8″ chef knife. (I think it was around $180) I have used it through 17 restaurants and hotels and innumerable catering events. But now it is sadly starting to loose its once nice rolling curve so its been relegated to any cutting that is tip only and slicing. Which brings me to my second favorite. A Ming Wo 6″ stainless vegetable cleaver. it was $20 light and cheap, it dulls fast and sharpens fast its a great utility knife for all purposes. I have had it for over 15 years and sadly it too is showing its age. It looks more like a thick knife now as the low quality steel has been widdled away from a 4+ inch thick cleave to about 2 now. Both of my favs have see better days but still cut up a storm and will always have a special place in my drawer

  5. I’m learning as I go…dishwasher.. then oil… hmmm …time to sharpen mine… thanks for the house of knives tip………Jean P

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