One of my goals for the coming months is to find lessons for skills I want to either learn or improve upon. I had a head start a few weeks ago with a class offering by Whisk, a unique, local kitchen-everything shop in Cary (more about them in a bit).
The class was Mastering Knife Skills, a two hour, hands on lesson taught by Ethan Hamme from the Messermeister company who was both knowledgeable and entertaining. The photos that follow are from another class Ethan taught and were generously provided by Whisk for my use here.
One of my biggest take aways of the night was at the beginning of class when Ethan shared his thoughts on honing. You either get into the habit of doing it before you use the knife each time or you get into the habit of doing it after. He thinks it is easier to do it before, making it a step in the mise en place and therefore more likely to be remembered.
The class was focused in particular on the chefs knife and its uses. We first learned proper grip and then dove right into different techniques for different vegetables.
I am sure I could have found my way through my first julienne watching a YouTube video, but now I have actually done it. We then cut the julienne down to a fine dice called brunoise.
An interesting component of the class was the assortment of chefs knives on the table. This afforded students the rare opportunity of taking different knives out for a test drive throughout the class and see what felt good in their hand. At the end of class I had to wait in line behind other students to check out with my two new chef/paring knives sets, so it looks like a win-win for students and store.
Whisk was just opening its doors in Cary when I moved to the area a little over three years ago. By luck, I briefly met Dan, one half of the husband and wife owners, when we both spoke at the same event so I have known about and visited their site many times and knew they held regular classes. I had even looked at the class listings a year or so ago and thought, “I will have to do that sometime”. And then a year went by.
Let’s all make 2017 be our “sometime”!