Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About

Knives are usually the personal property of each chef, and an individual’s knife kit is guarded with great care. In the beginning of a professional culinary career, prudent investment in fine knives will be a lifelong one. Many kitchens also have an array of knives on hand for general use, but they are often not of the highest quality. Most knives are made either of high-carbon or forged stainless steel and, in fact, have often been referred to as simply that, a steel. This metal is generally resistant to rust and corrosion and does not stain easily. The knife handle can be made of wood, plastic, metal, or natural substances such as horn, shell, or plastic-wood. In fine knives, the end of the blade (called the tang) runs the length of the handle and is held in place by a number of rivets, creating a strong, well-balanced utensil. There are now very good knives of a one-piece construction (Global brand knives, Furi brand knives). Currently knives are being made from an extremely hard, durable material called ceramic zirconia that, reputedly, does not rust, corrode, interact with food, or lose its edge. There are a great number of styles of knives needed to properly cut and shape food. Each has a specific use that is often defined by its name.