January 18, 2012

High-end cutlery carving a larger niche for itself

By MARY MacVEAN McClatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 2)

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This 8-inch Rhino chef’s knife and paring knife were both handmade by Laurence Segal of Santa Monica, Calif.

McClatchy Newspapers

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Another custom knife handmade by Segal.

"The fear was that if chef picked up your knife and it wasn't sharp," he might toss it in the trash or even break it, Lyon says. "Either way, you were done. You had to have the sharpest knife in the kitchen."

He says he's not quite so demanding at Delphine: "I try to be a little softer than I what I grew up with."

At home, cooks can learn to sharpen their knives on a stone. Or, take them to a professional at least once a year.

Custom knife maker Laurence Segal says a steel can double the time a knife stays sharp. That's a tool that has a wooden handle and a long, skewer-shaped top. Each time a knife is used, the cook can hone the blade by stroking it along the steel at a 20-degree angle.

Knives should be used only on cutting boards, not on granite or glass; and they should not be washed in the dishwasher, John Pitblado of the store Surfas says.

Store knives on a magnetic strip, either hanging on the wall or in a drawer, or in a flat wood block. A standing wood block also works, though dropping the blades into the slots can wear on the tips.

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