Jean-Georges Vongerichten – Chef and restaurateur

What knives do you use most often?

An usuba and a slicer.

Why are knives important to you?

Knives are your own, personalized tools. They need to be taken care of the same way race cars need to be kept tuned up, because you can’t do much with a dull knife! One needs to know how to take care of their knives before they actually start trying to cook. When I first started working in a kitchen, I didn’t get to cook right away. I did routine peeling and chopping, and through this I learned the importance of caring for a knife.

Do you have any advice for young chefs?

Choose a knife for each purpose. The cutting, slicing and chopping of meat, fish and vegetables all call for different types of knives. Also, the knives you choose need to be made of a good quality metal, so that they can be sharpened on a stone once a day. A knife’s weight must also be well-balanced in your hand. Take good care of your knives. Paying respect to your tools is the same thing as paying respect to the food that you cook.

2004 Korin Knife Catalog