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Peter Hertzmann Knife Skills

Glenys's picture

You probably remember this gentleman posting here occasionally;  he's at the store today and tomorrow doing a hand's on knife class.  I believe the book was on FC's list for Christmas.  Very good companion book for anyone taking a blitz lesson in knife handling.  It's illustrated from both right and left perspective. 


Anyway, I wasn't there, just reporting in.

Jean's picture

(post #62916, reply #1 of 9)

He also has a web page http://www.hertzmann.com/index.php



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Marie Louise's picture

(post #62916, reply #3 of 9)

There is a sample chapter of this book on his website. (Click on Knife Skills to find it.) Is it just me, or does that make chopping an onion look impossibly hard?

Here's a direct link: http://www.knife-skills-book.com/pages/img/Knife-Skills-Illustrated-Sample-Chapter.pdf


Edited 2/3/2008 9:39 am by Marie Louise

Risottogirl's picture

(post #62916, reply #4 of 9)

Well, you know how to do it and have been doing it for many years without thinking about it.


If you don't know how to do it properly (and you like diagrams, which I don't LOL) I think it would be helpful, especially the lefty parts. My mom is a lefty and he has always said that instructions for EVERYTHING are always geared for rightys. The diagrams make it a bit geekafied and it seems like there is more too it than there is.


That method IS the method I was taught in France many years ago  and as far as I know it is still the method taught in formal culinary programs here (Glenys?). When I show someone (in a lesson, demo, or otherwise) how to cut/chop/slice and onion this is what I do.


Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Marie Louise's picture

(post #62916, reply #5 of 9)

I looked a second time. I am also a lefty, and the lefty diagrams DID make more sense. (It was the shredding one that got me, w/ those quarter turns.) But somehow it made it seem much more complicated than it is. I do chop an onion like that-it was just hard to follow.

Different learning styles, I have to watch someone do it, I think.


Edited 2/3/2008 10:09 am by Marie Louise

Risottogirl's picture

(post #62916, reply #6 of 9)

I agree, I learn better by watching than from a diagram.

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Jean's picture

(post #62916, reply #7 of 9)

Nothing like a good video to illustrate technique.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
skeptic7's picture

(post #62916, reply #8 of 9)

The onion method shown has an unnecessary hazard, he is cutting the root off the onion by holding it in one hand and cutting it off with a paring knife. I place the onion on a cutting board and cut off the root using the same large knife I plan to use later.

I use a Chinese chef knife as my main kitchen knife, so I only glanced at his book. Some of the techniques only apply to French knives.

Glenys's picture

(post #62916, reply #9 of 9)

Actually the practice isn't that unusual; following normal prep practices the vegetables are peeled and trimmed in one step and cut in the next. Some of the more demanding chefs I've worked with wanted no onion skins on the cutting boards, all the prep was done ahead. While trimming styles vary, most chefs who also garden, trim the onions from the root up; results in the exposure of the best layers first try without excess trimming.
Differenct cuisines, different techniques, different tools.

Risottogirl's picture

(post #62916, reply #2 of 9)

Love his website for random French culinary stuff. Interesting guy, I have corresponded some with him when I was in France.

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay

Water is a great ingredient to cook with, it has such a neutral flavor - Bobby Flay