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Old 09-03-2008, 12:51 PM   #11
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After reading this thread..... I've decided to give Chico my firstborn. Much simpler.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllenOK View Post
I think Chico might be saying that he practices the "Zen" of sharpening.
It wouldn't be the first time.

Tell me, would you consider yourself a wealthy man? I might be able to help those edges...
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:40 PM   #13
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And yes, in the proper hands, a cleaver can be just as, if not, more effective, than a French knife, in properly trained hands.
A cleaver, or Japanese vegetable cleaver (Chuckabocho) can do everything a chef's knife can do except stab. It's a pleasure using my 220x110mm Moritaka.

Check out, Chef Curtis Chung and his cleaver skills.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:24 PM   #14
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Sometimes you think a knife is "sharp enough" or even question why you'd need it sharper until something comes along to change your mind. Let me give you an example; my gf has never really had any good knives before so I lent her a few of mine (a Kanetsune gyuto, a Shun santoku & a Tojiro santoku). While she was very impressed with how sharp they were she still made fun of me a bit for my obsession with sharpening...until last nite. She made sushi for us and was concerned about slicing it. It seems she'd never really been able to cut thin slices off the rolls before- her knives aren't up to it. With a sly grin I assured her that she'd have no such trouble with my knives! You could sort of see the light bulb go on over her head as I effortlessly sliced the entire rolls.

Now she's a really fantastic cook; it's just that she never obsessed over the tools like I do, or at least the knives. She has lots of "gadgets" and knows how to use them. But I think it takes your non-professional, home-cooking types some time with screaming sharp knives to really appreciate how much better they make you look. Your presentation is better, things will cook better (eg more uniform slices of veggies are possible with a good knife, hence more predictable cooking) & you can work faster. More than anything though it's just more fun to use good tools.

Will a "professional edge" work better than one you do on a Lansky? Hard to say. I would guess that Chico's services are mostly sold to people who either don't have the skill to sharpen or simply don't have the time. And the Lansky & Gatco sharpeners will do a good job. Still, it's neat to take a knife you think is pretty sharp and then see how much sharper it can still get!
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:35 PM   #15
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To add just a short comment, so do speak verify the high skills needed for a person to sharpen knives. For many years, like 20 or so. I used to make knives. Kind of as a side income. But I could never learn how to sharpen them properly, after making a knife I would take them to my friend who would sharpen them for me. Now when I have more time on my hands I learn how to do a “great” job sharpening. “Great” job by many peoples’ standard, but I do know it is still only mediocre by a professional standard.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by buzzard767 View Post
Check out, Chef Curtis Chung and his cleaver skills.
I love cleavers, but was not particularly impressed with this video, thre are by far better ones. No big deal of course.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:49 PM   #17
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Yeah that video really didn't do anything for me either.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:55 PM   #18
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I love cleavers, but was not particularly impressed with this video, thre are by far better ones. No big deal of course.
Here's the part you missed. Curtis's knives are extremely sharp, very acute polished edges. 99.99% of people trying to chop the way he did would chip the edge to death. Curtis doesn't. It isn't easy to do this properly. I know as I sharpen the same way and am slowly developing my chopping skills. Here's Curtis's new sharpening
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:00 PM   #19
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...Still, it's neat to take a knife you think is pretty sharp and then see how much sharper it can still get!

My point in the earlier post was that, while I acknowledge my knives could be sharper, I question the practical advantage of their being sharper. I have no trouble carving uniform slices so food will cook to their best advantage. Beyond that, what?
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:15 PM   #20
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Rob characterized the idea pretty dead on. Granted, chefs are taught knife skills at culinary school, and some of the sushi chefs are darn good.

We have a Chinese restaurant in my little town, and the "cook" is primarily making foods he learned at home for more American tastes. He puts an edge on a cleaver that is very good, perhaps in the 'scary' range. And yet he has no credentials in cooking or sharpening.

But for the most part, chefs prepare food. They have enough headaches with food deliveries and internal cat fighting. The really good sous-chefs I have seen want their own gig, and they are none too shy in explaining their positions.

So, I get hired.

I am also hired by serious folks who are known as the best and most creative cooks in their circle of friends or church. They pride themselves on dinner parties, much like Bree Van De Kamp on "Desperate Housewives." They can't sharpen, the mister can't sharpen, so call that biker whose wife has all that Pampered Chef stuff....

Then there's always the "one knife" guy or gal. There's no way they need or want +/-1,000 dollars in professional sharpening, but they do have a favorite knife. For example, I believe the client I waited on when Buzz came to see me had just picked up two rather mundane santukos. In many ways it would have just been better to sell him a good one, but these were the ones he wanted. That's 200 bucks and tax for a working stiff.

To be fair, all of the tinkers I know on KnifeForums do pro bono work for police officers, soldiers, EMT staff and subsistance hunters.
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