A whole book about Kitchen Knives? It’s only for obsessive kitchen nuts, right?
Actually, no. Chad Ward provides a ton of great information for beginner and expert alike.
If you’ve spent any time at all researching kitchen knives, you quickly realize that there’s a lot of disinformation out there. Myths, misperceptions and outright lies abound. Chad attempts to debunk some of these myths and give you an unbiased, straight scoop on knives.
The book is broken down into three sections. The first, nearly 100 pages in length, is devoted to the knives themselves. Chad teaches knife anatomy and construction, explains the various types of knives and their uses, and gives recommendations for purchase.
Of course you can find recommendations on knives just about anywhere but once you’re done reading what Chad has to say, you’ll feel pretty comfortable trusting his expertise.
The second section is devoted to “knife skills”. Chad describes techniques used in the kitchen, going into great detail and providing some nice color pictures so there can be no confusion. Want to learn how to chiffonade, spatchcock or butterfly? They’re all here, along with dozens of other tips and tricks.
The final section is about knife maintenance. In a nutshell, that really means “sharpening”. Knife sharpening is one of those intimidating subjects that a lot of us shy away from out of fear and/or confusion.
Chad sets us straight, though. First, he builds up your confidence, firmly stating “You can do this. You’ll have the best edges you have ever encountered and you won’t screw up your knives. I promise.”
Next, he devotes nearly seventy pages to showing you, in great detail, how to keep your knives sharp and do it the right way. It’s an easy read, complete with lots of illustrations, and when you’re done you’ll have the confidence to give it a shot.
Overall, the book is a great read. Chad’s got a breezy writing style and a sharp sense of humor. I doubt we’ll see a sequel or that they’ll turn it into a movie, but it’s quite entertaining nonetheless.
If you want to learn about knives, as any serious cook really should, I can recommend no better way than to check out this book.