Australian chefs and the knives they love

“There is no object you own that is anything like your kitchen knife,” writes British food writer and author Tim Hayward.

“Think about it—eight inches of lethally sharp, weapons grade metal lying on your kitchen table, possessing the same potential for mayhem as a loaded handgun—and yet it is predominantly used to express your love for your family by making their tea.”

The intricate and diverse world of the knife is something that Hayward has explored in his latest book, Knife: The Culture, Craft and Cult of the Cook’s Knife.

From his grandmother’s humble bread knife to a 47-word glossary of Japanese knife terms, Hayward celebrates knives and the culture that surrounds them.

In response, RN asked some prominent chefs and cooks to nominate their favourite knives.

Adam Liaw, 2010 Masterchef winner

It’s genuinely hard to pick a favourite knife, I’ve probably got about 30 or 40 different knives ranging from cheap $2-$3 ones that I’ve just bought for a particular job or a particular purpose, through to my most expensive, which was about $1,500.

That was handmade for me by one of the really old samurai sword manufacturers in Japan.

But I guess my favourite is the one I enjoy cutting with the most and that is a fairly simple Japanese yanagiba made by another Japanese knifemaker.

It wasn’t hugely expensive, only about $400 or so, but I use it an awful lot for cutting sashimi.

I enjoy cutting with it—it’s got a really good balance, it fits the way I move with the knife, fits my style of cooking. Also it makes a very simple meal, which is just cut-up raw fish, into a bit of a theatre or a meditation.

You enjoy it a bit more, rather than trying to be frantic about your cutting and your preparation.

Matthew Evans, owner of Fat Pig Farm, Huon Valley, Tasmania

I waited about 15 years to get this knife, as the maker decides on who the knife suits only after it’s been forged, and mine took a while to craft.

It’s made from hand-forged Damascus steel, by legendary Tasmanian John Hounslow-Robinson, out of an old saw blade. The sheath is reclaimed Huon pine, and the handle is deer antler.

The whole thing is a work of art. Holding it, you can feel the energy of the blacksmith’s pounding of the steel.

The other special thing is that it was given to me by my gorgeous partner, Sadie: one of the most thoughtful gifts imaginable. Read full article