20 Cooks, 20 Knives: This month, we're taking a close look at a chef's most important tool: her knife. We asked 20 cooks, amateurs and professionals, to share their favorite knives and the stories behind them. While chef's knives are featured prominently, no two are exactly alike, and there are also a few surprises.
Profession: Interior Design Book Author, Blogger, and Stylist
City: Los Angeles
It's no surprise that stylist-extraordinaire and blogger Anne Sage (author of Sage Living) has a penchant for perfectly pared produce. She gravitates towards the paring variety for its manageable size and ease-of-use. We met up with Anne at her gorgeous studio Light Lab in Los Angeles, where she whipped through some cukes with a speed that rivals the beauty of her pristine studio kitchen.
What is your go-to knife? My go-to for most tasks is a great paring knife. I have small hands, and most of the things I chop are small too — lots of fruits and veggies — and I like the sense of control that a paring knife affords me. This one is a 3.5-inch forged German stainless steel paring knife from KitchenAid.
How long have you had it? I just got this new knife and it's a huge upgrade from what I was using before. It makes me feel like a slicing superhero!
Why did you choose it? This knife — and all of its compatriots in the set — are very light and easy to wield. Plus, I love the brushed stainless finish ... so chic!
Do you sharpen it yourself or pay to get it sharpened? I've yet to sharpen a single knife that I own. I'm terribly lazy about upkeep of my nice equipment. It drives my fiancé nuts!
Where do you keep it? Here at the studio I keep it in the block it came with, but I have the same knife set at home where my kitchen is much smaller. There I use a magnetic knife strip mounted above my countertop to keep my work surfaces clear.
Are you possessive about your knife? Is anyone else allowed to use it? I'm possessive about my kitchen in general! I've definitely been known to shove someone out of the way and take over if I don't think they're chopping, stirring, and plating to my standards. I'm also pretty speedy in the kitchen and nothing frustrates me more than plodding chefs! I know that revealing this doesn't shine the best light on me, but hey — it's the truth!
Does your knife have a name? Not yet, but now I'm thinking it does! I'll call it Winifred and see if it responds.
What's the last thing that you made really well using your knife? Salads are definitely my specialty. Lately I'm loving a combination of baby kale, ripe heirloom tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and lemon-pepper vinaigrette. I cook some quinoa and toss it into the salad so the kale wilts slightly. It's a salad that eats like a meal!