Dear Diary… The night before school started my journal went a little something like this: “I can’t imagine we’ll be in the kitchens in our first quarter…” I was mistaken. We are in classroom one day and Kitchen Lab the following. The building blocks of becoming a Chef start with introduction to the kitchen equipment and tools. We received our Knife Kit on the first day of class.
|Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking AOS Knife Kit|
After identifying kitchen equipment and tools you must learn the proper techniques of utilization. First off: Knives because as Masaharu Morimoto says “A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen.” Understanding the uses of each knife is very important but don’t forget the knives best friends: The steel is for honing&straightening to maintain the blade whereas the sharpening stone, water stone or whetstone are used to sharpen the blade.
|Knives L-R: Steel, Chefs Knife, Serrated Slicer, Pairing Knife, Tourne Knife, Kitchen Sheers|
Sharpening and Honing Knives
In Lab we learned to sharpen our knives on a whetstone with mineral oil. At a 20 degree angle run the blade from heel to tip with light pressure on the spine against the roughest grained stone. Three strokes across the stone on each side of the cutting edge. Repeat with the finest grain stone to smooth and refine blade. Straighten out the knife with the Honing Steel after sharpening, also 3 strokes on each side of the blade. Click the link below for my you tube video.
I thought I would surprise my husband, who is also in Culinary School at Le Cordon Bleu, with a whetstone the day after we learned how to sharpen the blade. I went to Sur La Table because they give a 15% discount to culinary students and bought one for about $25.
It turns out husbands and wives do think alike, he came home with one of his own. However he went to Restaurant Depot because we can get in with our school ID and purchased the professional grade whetstone from Dexter that we use at Le Cordon Bleu… Go BIG or go Home I suppose.