Whenever we encounter someone who likes cooking but doesn't quite love it, one of two things is almost certainly true. Either they're not cooking with a sharp knife, or they don't really know how to use it. Often its both.
Having confidence in your knife will bring you so much joy in your cooking, as chopping, slicing and dicing will be both faster and more meditative. You'll be able to be more precise in your cuts, leading your food to cook more evenly and be prettier on the plate. Perhaps best of all, your confidence there will translate to confidence in other areas; we know, we've seen it happen.
This weekend, New Yorkers have a free chance to pick up some new knife skills from a master teacher.
Norman Weinstein, the author of Mastering Knife Skills brings his decade of experience teaching knife skills to Broadway Panhandler this weekend. Sure, we know he'll be hocking his book, but it sounds like a good one, and it certainly couldn't hurt to see him in action. Broadway Panhandler, 65 East 8th Street, Saturday, May 17th, 2pm (212.966.3434).
For those of you who'd rather pony up some cash and get a more hands-on lesson on wielding a knife, NYC has many classes to choose from.
• Norman Weinstein has taught knife skills at the Institute for Culinary Education for over a decade. A three-hour hands-on basic class costs $90. They also offer three additional levels, covering meats, garnishes, and fruits, for $95/each.
• The Culinary Center of New York's 2-day, 6-hour hands-on class includes a meal, and covers vegetables, poultry and fish. Class meets at the Inn on 23rd, 131 West 23rd Street, New York, NY. $235 (includes all materials)
• The Camaje Bistro on MacDougal Street regularly offers a variety of classes in its working professional kitchen, including a 3-hour knife skills class that covers the fundamentals while making gazpacho and fruit salad. $65
• For the cheapest option we've found, head to kitchen store The Brooklyn Kitchen where a hands-on class with 6 to 8 fellow students only costs $25.
Are you inspired to fall in love with your knife yet?
Related: Knife Sharpening: Henry Westpfal & Co