Friday, September 09, 2005

Cookin No. 21 - Knife Skills

Today we entered the kitchen in our full uniforms, and began our first mission… slicing and dicing carrots. We learned the proper way to hold our chef knives, the proper way to slice and dice, and the proper way to not loose a finger.

First, holding the knife is a lot different than how I have spent my entire life holding a knife. You want to take you index finger, and rest it on the blade itself, right where the blade and the handle meet, and then you wrap the three of your remaining fingers around the handle. I can’t believe the amount of control I had with the knife when I put this technique into place.

Second, cutting the produce, (after you wash and peel it), you use your index finger from your knifeless hand, and curl the first section so it is pointing strait down, and use that as a guide for all your cuts. Basically you run the knife down your finger into the flesh of the carrot. But don’t cut yourself! At first, it seemed terrifying, my partner Jeremy and I were wincing each time we made a cut, thinking that our fingers were going to go flying off the table. After a few slices though, it was easy to get the hang of. The other important technique is to use the first 1/3 of the knife, which is the chopping area of the knife, and with the proper way of holding the knife, it is a very strong portion of the knife.

Unfortunately I was collecting the slices of carrots from everyone, so I missed the dicing practice, but it looked easy enough. I think that I will hit up Wegman’s and purchase a carrot, for some good old chopping time.

On Monday, we go back into the kitchen to learn about mincing, poaching and frying. Then we start helping prep for a big event for the college on Wednesday. Which I can’t wait to help out with, there is going to be lobster, caviar, and other delicious goodies, and the chef said that he will feed us.

So until then, practice your knife skills.

Bon Appetite


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