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Knife Skills Class


Last night was my Knife Skills class at Sur la Table.   It was a great class and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in learning the basics.  The instructor for this class was Dan Thiessen, the Corporate Executive Chef at Salty’s

This was a hands-on class so Chef would first demonstrate the technique and then we’d practice on various vegetables.  There were two things that I really hoped to learn at this class.  The first was how to properly hold a knife – I’ve had a suspicion for quite some time that I wasn’t really controlling the knife as I should.  The second thing I wanted to learn was how to use the other hand to guide the knife without cutting my fingers.  I’ve watched lots of chefs do this but could never quite get it. 

I learned both of those things – although the "claw-hand" is going to take me a bit of practice!  Once I was shown how to properly hold the knife many techniques came more naturally, although I will need to focus on it for a while. 

I learned about what to look for in a knife, expanded my knowledge on sharpening knives, learned about starting cuts with the knife in motion and how to better use that motion for easier, more effective cuts.  I also learned that "brunoise" is very small – 1/8" dices – and if I hadn’t known what dice, mince and julienne were I would have learned those terms, too. 

Chef Dan is a great instructor and, as mentioned earlier, his being handsome doesn’t hurt, either! 

Sur la Table’s current schedule of classes runs through early May and the new schedule will be out in a couple weeks.

One Comment
  1. Greg R. permalink
    15-Apr-2008 3:32 pm

    Nice review — thanks! I\’m going to look for that class in my area…

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