I started Culinary School a week ago. It took me a while to decide whether or not I wanted to do it but here I am. The first week has given me a bit of insight as to what I can expect and it seems like it will be a big change from studying Economics. Never before have I been so excited about the academic side of school!
Unfortunately, I will be tied up with balancing school & work so I will no longer be committing to publishing something I made every single Monday. Instead I will be blogging about what I learn in culinary school in my new section which you can find here. I will continue to update you with my creations however I suspect they may be published on a slightly less consistent basis.
On another note, I wanted to mark my official full commitment to following my dreams with an upgrade in equipment. For the past 3 years I have been using Calphalon’s contemporary 8-incher. It was a gift I received during university and it has been thoroughly enjoyed. It was a massive step up from the Selection/Walmart knives I was previously struggling to cut butter with. However, I felt as if it was time to invest in something serious due to the serious nature with which I am diving into food. After doing countless hours of online research, talking to countless people (truthfully only 7 people), and trying out countless knives, I eventually based most of my decision on how uniquely amazing this knife felt in my hand (compared to the competition in my price range). I present to you my new toy/weapon:
Above is a Mcusta Zanmai Classic Pro Damascus Gyuto. A Gyuto is basically a Japanese version of our western Chefs knife. Gyutos in general have a few key different characteristics which I found I preferred to traditional western knives. My Calphalon had quite the large bolster running down the base of the heel and the Mcusta doesn’t have any bolster at all. This was an unexpected characteristic in a knife I thought I would buy simply because I really enjoyed the large bolster on the Calphalon. However, since first holding the Calphalon, my technique has changed and I find myself chocking up on the handle a lot more these days. Thus, the thinner and harder Japanese blade offers me the option for more sharpness. Furthermore, I have found that food has been less inclined to stick to the blade due to the fact that the knife isn’t pushing through food as much as the Calphalon used to.
The knife is made in Seki, Japan. It measures 8.2 inches long of VG-10 stainless steel. VG-10 is just a cutlery grade stainless steel produced in Japan that consists of many elements including some specific elements that must be in a particular proportion to one another which include Carbon (1%), Molybdenum (1%), Chromium (15%), Cobalt (1.5%), and Manganese (0.5%) to name a few. The blade is finished with Hamaguri form which just means that the edge of the blade is shaped asymmetrically. The left side of the blade comes down on to the food at 90 degrees whereas the right side of the blade comes in just under 90 degrees making it extremely easy to cut through food with minimum force which makes up for the heaviness often found in western Chef knives. Another thing one might notice about the blade is that it has a kind of rippling water design to it. This is caused by the technique used in producing Damascus Steel. Unfortunately, Damascus steel has been found and dated as early as 300BC and even with modern technology, reverse engineering the exact process has not been fully completed. It is a steel used in ancient Asian and Middle Eastern sword making. These are just some of the characteristics that make my Calphalon feel like a clumsy broadsword in comparison.