The Great Hall
Your knoives and your co-workers


WebFoodPros.com: The Great Hall: Your knoives and your co-workers
By Flattop (Flattop) on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 07:14 pm: Edit

I've stopped taking my good knives to school because no one else sharpen theirs or for that matter brings any of their own. Mine tend to get borrowed without permission and come back messed up that and I always have to check to make sure I have everything. Of course if I need something it's dirty.

I'm really hesitant to buy a full set of good knives now. I've heard too many times from peolpe that once I get into a restaurant that they will just get lifted anyway.

So how bad is co-worker theft? Is it really worth it to spend the money on something that has a high probablity of getting ripped off by the guy who knows he's not coming back for the next shift?

By Chefrev (Chefrev) on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 08:59 pm: Edit

It depends on the place, but I'd say I've lost more plastic scrapers than knives to theft over the years. But there is the problem of people using your knives and not caring for them well. I had a guys drop my Henckel's on the floor and break off the tip. Last time for THAT!

Maybe leave the good knives at home to impress guests :-) and take moderate priced sharp knives to work and just say no nicely when someone asks to borrow one. OR if the place doesn't rent from a knife sharpener, maybe see if they can do that. Those places sometimes have decent knives, and just when they're getting dull, new ones come in.

Just my .02.

By George (George) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 12:23 pm: Edit

I think it depends on the size of the kitchen, the bigger the kitchen the cheaper the knives.

While working in big airline kitchen I had a utility guy break the tip off of a 10" henkle opening a can, never again. I worked at a hotel where if you put anything down and turned around it would disappear without a trace.

The other side is a smaller place where I lent a knife out and totally forgot about it. At the end of the day I got it back sharpened, with the best edge it ever or since has had.

As far as knife rentals it depends on the company. Some are great and some really suck.

G

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 01:07 pm: Edit

I've lost more knives that I can remember, weather stolen or somehow just being thrown out with the trash it's hard to say.

Years ago I gave up the idea that my knives where like the samurai swords of old, imbued with special powers and possessing souls of their own, like so many of us do when we first start. It's less the knife and more the one welding it.

Your knives are tools and of course you want quality but I think a balance of quality and price is in order for the kitchen. I've never seen the need for paying huge amounts of money for knives. There is just to much of a chance they will be ruined, like you or your partner on the line dropping your $150.00 FDick forged ten inch blade and breaking off the tip. Let alone shattering a ceramic blade in the middle of the rush.

I prefer carbon steel and don't use the high carbon steel knives of today. Carbon steal blades blotch and stain but they sharpen easier, sharper and hold an edge longer than those almost stainless steal blades.

Starting out with a wife and a kid I never had money for new knives so I learned to mine the thrift stores for quality steel. Finding Forchners, Hienckles, Sabotiers and never paying more than a few dollars. At the prices I find them I now give the high carbon blades to my crew or keep them in my box with the key on the kitchen key ring making the available for my crew to use. The carbon steel blades go home with me except for the ones I use at work.

By George (George) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 01:41 pm: Edit

If anyone is in the NYC area a great source for cheep brand name knives is Bridge Kitchenware (214 East 52nd Street).

Go in as ask to see what's in the returned knife box. They buy all the knives the big manufactures get back because the lost a tip or were broken in some way. You just have to take them to a knife guy and get the blade reshaped. If you want new tell them you work for one of the local hotels (ex The Waldorf) and you get 15% off most merchandise. The place is definitely worth a visit.

Itís been awhile since Iíve been there but Iíll bet they still do it.

G

By Thebaker (Thebaker) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 03:14 pm: Edit

Ive been there lots of times and never knew.

next time I will have to ask about that.

By Rocler (Rocler) on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 08:21 pm: Edit

i just had the blade on my mandoline crapped up by a coworker and it just pisses me off to no end cause i would never use someone elses knife and i feel the same curtosy should be extended to me also, so now screw them everything goes in my tool box and gets locked

By Chefhdan (Chefhdan) on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 10:12 am: Edit

I have a simple rule, "GET your OWN damned knives / tools, and don't TOUCH mine!!!" Even the knives I don't spend alot of cash on are important to me because I don't believe in buying "cheap" just less expensive. After that it's a locking toolbox for protection. There are sometimes when I'll let my guard down and loan out a special tool but, I usually get a watch or something of the borrowee's to keep as collateral. Am I a D!%K ???... YES, when it comes to protecting the tools I invest in. I couldn't begin to count the number of knives & tools I have collected over the years but I could tell you a story for every one that was lost or damaged.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 10:59 am: Edit

"...I'll let my guard down and loan out a special tool but, I usually get a watch or something of the borrowee's to keep as collateral..."

That's a good idea! get some collateral from the person...

By Corey (Corey) on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 03:15 pm: Edit

yeah, and people are stupid too.
I lent my favorite instant read thermomiter to a cute cook, she said she would give it right back, when she did, it was a lump of plastic on a stick, I said what happened, she said she just stuck it in and went to do something for a sec, I said instant read means you shove it in and pull it out. she said she was so sorry and will pay me back for it, I am still waiting for it. no I don't even loan a 15.00 item unless I know them well.

By Steve9389 (Steve9389) on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 11:07 pm: Edit

Hope she was really cute.

A friend works at a pretty hot fine dining place in Chicago, and last week his brother bought him a new Global paring knife for his birthday. First day with it at the restaurant a prep guy pushed it to the side to wipe down the counter, it fell on the floor and the tip snapped off.

The restaurant I work at (I like the sound of that) rents knives. They're not great, but not bad. And they certainly are sharp. I work Fridays and the knife guy usually is there when I arrive; it ain't nothing to slice those carrots and onions.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 08:50 pm: Edit

Cheftim:
I've been researching knives for many years and I've found some knives which may be of interest to you.
Chef's Choice Trizor 10x <http://chefschoice.com/page2c.html> cutlery by Edgecraft <http://edgecraft.com/page2c.html> contains twice the carbon content and ten times the molybdenum content of any factory production high-carbon stainless steel kitchen knife in the world.
Edgecraft claims that they are the world's strongest, sharpest kitchen knives in the world. I've actually conversed with the president of Edgecraft to discuss the development and unique properties of their Trizor 10x steel. The Trizor 10x stainless steel is the most metallurgically advanced proprietary alloy composition of any factory production kitchen cutlery. They're made in the U.S.A. and have a lifetime warranty.
Cold Steel <http://www.ltspecpro.com> claims to manufacture the world's strongest, sharpest, factory production tactical knives in the world. I've met the president of Cold Steel once. Cold Steel has a proprietary Carbon V steel which they use in many of their tactical knives. They tend to specialize in tactical knives, but they do manufacture kitchen knives <http://ltspecpro.com/kitclas.html> and <http://ltspecpro.com/fixed-blades-kitchen-series.html>, but they are intended for home use and not necessarily for commercial use. Many Cold Steel products are made in the U.S.A., but the Kitchen Classics and Kitchen Series lines of cutlery are made in Taiwan and Japan respectively.
I believe that their warranty is only for 5 years.
If you're interested in these knives, the least expensive of the online merchants that I've seen so far are: Everythinghome.com <http://everythinghome.com/chchkn.html> for the Chef's Choice cutlery, and Bladematrix.com <http://bladematrix.com/cold-steel.html> for Cold Steel cutlery. Of course, you could also check the auctions at ebay <http://ebay.com> as well.

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 08:52 pm: Edit

Chefhdan:
Bravo! Amen! I could not agree with you more! I've also "been there and done that!" Now, where did my knife go?

By Andapanda (Andapanda) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 04:55 pm: Edit

Cheftim:
I stand corrected. Chef's Choice Trizor 10x knives contain only six(not ten) times the molybdenum of the typical knives made in Solingen, Germany.

By James (James) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 07:13 pm: Edit

A new topic folks. I'm James, September 1991 CIA. I just nailed a job at Guastavino's, NYC, as Events Chef. My chef is finishing a yellow lentil soup with labne (yogurt cheese, perhaps?) I want to know the history of this and a good review book of basic charcuterie, pates and terrines, since this is only a small part of my incredible job. Thanks in advance for ALL your help...

By Cheftim (Cheftim) on Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - 10:40 pm: Edit

Thanks Andapanda,
But I think you missed the point of my post. It's not the price of modern knives I don't like, it's the steel.

A wonderful site with lots of information on almost anything about knives:
A.G. Russell's Knife Encyclopedia

By Ironhead (Ironhead) on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 03:31 pm: Edit

LOL Dan, I have been known to take a 5 dollar deposit on the loan of a peeler to staff members. Like you, my knives are MINE! You don't have a sharp knife in the kitchen, your own damned fault. I don't put trips to the tri-stone in my station job descriptions.....


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