Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Chef Carrie Walters: Kitchen Knives and Proper Cutting Techniques

Do you know what a cat’s tongue and a sharp knife have in common?  They both feel the same. That’s how you know your knife is properly sharpened.

This was one of the many tips I picked up from attending a cooking class focusing on kitchen knives and proper cutting techniques instructed by Chef Carrie Walters of Dorothy Lane Market Cooking School in Dayton Ohio.

Chef Carrie showed us how to properly cut onions, green peppers, cabbages, oranges and other fruits and vegetables so that the pieces came out uniformly — an important feature not only for even cooking but for the feel of the food on your pallate.

I was amazed at how using her cutting techniques gave me similar results.  I had always prided myself on my ability to cut an onion quickly but I never realized that the pieces came out different sizes.  Her tip was to cut the onion on the radius, like a blooming onion, and to not worry about waste (where you are holding the onion) as you could always use these uneven pieces for salads.

Other knife use tips are:

  • Use the back of the knife’s blade to scrape off your scraps.  This saves the sharp cutting edge from getting dull
  • Don’t put knives in the dishwasher as the extreme changes in heat can loosen the blade from the handle
  • Use a rocking motion when cutting
  • Don’t try to sharpen your knife using that long cylindrical tool on a handle that we all have.  It actually is not capable of sharpening.  It is for “buffing” your knife to realign it for straightness to achieve its maximum cutting potential.

Oh.  I didn’t mention that I attended this class as a part of the Girl Scouts of Buckeye Trails’ Pampered Camper event — where many professionals, such as Chef Carrie Walters, donated their time to give us a good time and support a good cause.  Thanks Chef Carrie!  You did a fantastic job!

  1. I never put my Chef knives in the dish washer because it cause the to become dull and I love to work with a very sharp knife. I learned that lesson when I put a Steak Knife Sets in it and it loosen the handle and became very dull.

    I learned how to properly cut vegetables with Global knives that I got as a gift, it was a bit hard at first but I quickly learned and now I am a pro a cutting

  2. Proper cutting techniques make all the difference in the world for recipes but more importantly building confidence in the kitchen.

    I learned to cut properly when I participated as an apprentice chef at the fundraiser Primavera Cooks! I volunteered for 2.5 days at Kingfisher Grill in Tucson. More about that next month.

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