Thursday, June 23, 2011

Knife Skills 101

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Knife Skills 101 class instructed by chef Nicholas Smith.  Nick was trained at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute - Le Cordon Bleu and has worked as a chef in many restaurants.

Nick showed us how to hold a knife properly (everyone was doing it wrong), how to use our guide hand (without chopping off your fingers), and how to do the basic circular cut. It's not necessarily hard, but it definitely takes practice. The guide hand part was hard for me. I don't like having my fingers that close to the knife. I realize if you do it correctly the whole intent is that it's safe for your hand and allows you to cut the food properly. However, after I chopped off the tip of my thumb a few years ago cutting jicama, I'm just a bit skiddish around knives.

I learned a ton and came home and started using my knew knife skills right away!

We learned the following:
Julienne- matchstick or french fry cut
Brunoise- cubes out of julienne- little and big
Onion- chopping- which requires cutting the onion in three different directions. This was totally new to me.
Onions- Saute crescents and onion rings
Mince- Parsley and garlic


  1. That sounds like such a great experience, Renee, and what fun new skills!

  2. Cool! You'll have to give me some tips. I never do a very good job chopping onions.

  3. So cool! I've always wanted to take a knife skills class! The closest I got was a demonstration class @ the William Sonoma store. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Oh, I would love to do a class like that! Thanks for showing the cut vegetables, fun to see.


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