How Knives Came Into My Life Part I

 December 7, 2015
Posted by Chris Rieke

How and why did I come to the decision to sell Chef’s Knives? Part I -The answer is an all-too overused word, #blessed… Just kidding, the reason is: knives are one of my greatest passions I’ve gathered from my career in the industry of restaurants.

My first job was at a well-known sub sandwich franchise in Kansas. And let me tell you, when you give keys of your door to a sixteen year old teenager, you’ve got some balls, or lack or brains. Anyways, there were no constant police sirens or firetrucks at the front door, so I guess I did my part well. This job gave me my first introduction to danger in the kitchen, the meat slicer, and a collection of old, dull knives.

Now, being under eighteen, I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to use the big meat slicer, but… well, when you don’t cut yourself, no one makes a fuss, I’ll just say that. For the record: Meat slicers are extremely dangerous. I used to watch guys barehand a 1-inch thick piece of wet ham on the slicer, that scared the shit out of me. Yet… I’ve seen far more people cut themselves cleaning the things, rather than slicing with them. Although, I’ve seen some serious blood spilled, and I was usually the guy who had to clean and sanitize the slicer, and help the next customer. Ahhh… the restaurant business. The show must go on!

 

sick

Where all this is going is that I learned the danger of kitchen machinery, and knives, and even the tomato slicer and the everyday peeler, and I loved it.

My next job was at an all too well known franchise now, that taught me a great deal about management, and how to grow a successful franchise. Make good food, and give a TON of it away for free, (at least for a couple of years). There, I started as a supervisor at the age of seventeen, and it got messy, let me tell you. You want a recipe for insubordination? Give some power and keys to a bmxer in high school, and let him manage a bunch of people twice his age, and that have general problems with authority anyways.

At this job, once you trained in the kitchen, they gave you a chainmail glove and told you to cut cilantro to tiny, little bits. Which was fun, hacking away at a plant until it resembled wet confetti.  And they taught you how to cut steaming hot chicken, pretty much as fast as you could. And let me tell you, using that chainmail glove was like putting on a skirt in the kitchen. Everyone hated using it, because the one or two people who just used latex gloves were, by far, the ones who were in charge. These cooks moved so fast the whole cook line and customers would stare at them in awe. If you didn’t move fast, they would make you do dishes, or just get out of the way, and let them do it. They taught you the basics of how to keep a sharp knife, an important skill! At the sub shop they let you walk around holding the dull blade straight out, and wave it around in the air while talking about the drunken debouchures from the night prior.

 

After that, I would go home and look at knives in my kitchen drawers with the black, light plastic handles and cringe.

DAPHNEhand_1937765aTo be continued…

 

photo of slicer by xenophobia22

photo of glove by awhitecarousel.com

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