Sure, many chefs are passionate about their pots, pans, strainers and stemware. But no kitchen tool has quite the ‘cult following’ as the knife.
This essential slicing, dicing and chopping wonder has been around for centuries, inspiring generations of obsessed fans who love to study its form and function. Of course, with these super fans comes a drove of professional clubs, global conferences, impromptu get-togethers, and extensive collections put on display for the world to admire.
In the culinary world, becoming a knife lover is like a rite of passage. So, do you think you have what it takes to praise this practical tool? If you’ve come to respect the versatility, power, strength and endurance of your trusty knife block, then read on for everything you need to know about knife super fans.
If you run in circles with the world’s most popular chefs, you’re bound to encounter some pretty impressive knife collections. But if you want to know who truly takes the cake, let’s turn to the official ruling from the fine folks at Guinness. Not the beer—that is, the Guinness Book of World Records.
As of 2017, the largest collection of knives has been formally attributed to a California man named Bernardo Mercado. Now, we take this designation with a grain of salt. According to the official story, Mercado approached Guinness hoping his extensive 2,175-knife collection would nab the world record.
It turns out, there was no current record on file, so the experts compared the man’s haul to some of the larger knife stores around the country. It turns out, 2,100 unique knives was the highest inventory total they could find, making Mercado the authorized winner. The verification process took months and months to complete.
One more thing: Mercado’s passion doesn’t exactly lie in the kitchen. His collection covers all kinds of utility knives, so the top culinary collector is yet to be named! Maybe you’re next? (Shameless plug: start your collection with a premium quality Made In Chef’s Knife!)
While there are countless collectors’ conventions that assemble across the globe, the largest one is aptly named ‘Blade Show.’
The annual event is sponsored by Blade Magazine, which is the world’s oldest (and currently the #1 leading) knife publication. This year, planners anticipate over 900 individual exhibitions, over 10,000 people in attendance, as well as a slew of celebrity chefs, authors and industry experts. Their know-how ranges from kitchen cutlery to self defense to outdoor survival. In short, this is the ‘ultimate’ get-together for the greater knife community.
Now in its 38th year, Blade Show 2019 takes place in Atlanta, Georgia from June 7th to June 9th. Visitors will sharpen knives, hone their slicing skills, and watch live demonstrations, including an exhilarating cutting contest.
For the average home chef, a decent prep knife might run you $50 in the department store (or even a specialty shop). But if you want to compete with folks in the ‘big leagues,’ be prepared to drop some major bucks.
Do a little internet research, and you’ll stumble upon a German knife from Nesmuk called ‘Jahrhundertmesser,’ which reportedly costs a whopping $95,992.60 retail (USD). What in the world could warrant such an outlandish price, you might ask?
Well, apparently the knife features the finest carbon steel available alongside a gorgeous wooden handle carved from a 5,000-year-old bog oak tree. As a plus, the knife also comes complete with a platinum collar bedazzled in diamonds.
Talk about a loaded question! Of course, the correct answer is ‘there is no such thing as the world’s best chef’s knife.’ As with all things in the kitchen, everything boils down to personal preference.
While some pros prefer the lightweight, razor-sharp agility of a topnotch Japanese chef’s knife, others opt for the strong, weighty power of a premium German chef’s knife. The French are also renowned for their exceptional durability and craftsmanship, such as in Made In’s rock-hard 8-inch chef’s knife.
You also want to consider value. After all, does a jewel-encrusted handle really matter when it comes to presentation and taste? What’s most important is that you acknowledge how versatile and essential a chef’s knife is to the common cook. In short, you need one.
So, if you’re ready to join the club of knife lovers all across the globe, start by purchasing one of these kitchen warriors. You now know everything there is to know about knife obsession, so grab your gear and start cooking!
Feel a new addiction forming? Start building your knife collection now...