Galen Garretson started his career in the restaurant industry in San Francisco. He’s worked as a gourmet chef at Quince (at Jackson Square Neighborhood) and Wayfare Tavern (owned by celebrity chef Tyler Florence).
During his time as a chef, however, he discovered another skill that he continues to be quite proficient in: knife sharpening. Over time, he was known for sharpening every single knife in his kitchen by hand, every time — and after a while, his colleagues encouraged him to go into business as a specialist.
Garretson has now opened the Town Cutler, a shop in San Francisco that’s solely dedicated to cutlery sales and custom sharpening. It’s ideal for customers who get stressed about sharpening their knife at the wrong angle, or who just don’t have time in their busy schedule to get all their knives functioning like brand new again.
To sharpen knives, Garretson uses imported Japanese whetstones. His technique is to finish the knife’s edge on a 10,000-grit whetstone, then polish them on a leather razor strop.
The shop displays collectibles and antique cutlery along with current, modern products that customers can browse (and purchase if desired) while they wait. Brands include Wusthof, Masamoto, Kanematsu, Zanmai, Kikuichi, and F. Dick. They’re all top of the line.
Additionally, the cutlery display that holds all these knives was built by San Francisco metal sculpture artist Oliver DiCicco, who is renowned in several other fields including music and engineering. As owner of Mobius Music Recording, DiCicco has been nominated for several Grammy Awards. He is also a builder of avant-garde musical instruments and an expert in kinetic sound sculptures.
Town Cutler, owned by proprietor Galen Garretson, is located at 1005 Bush St., San Francisco, CA.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle