Chefs and Their Knives

Shot on location at Bask

Chef Liv Hurst, Cattle Shed

Chef Olivia Hurst, a recent winner on Food Network’s Chopped, is a self-taught modern Southern chef with a worldly view. This is her Miyabi Birchwood Nakiri Knife, 6 1/2”. It takes more than 100 steps and 42 days to make one knife worthy of the Miyabi brand. Each authentic knife is crafted true to Japanese tradition by skilled artisans and forged from premium steel. "I like this knife because the thin, light handle makes it easy to hold and maneuver when doing detailed knife cuts like julienned vegetables. The balanced weight of the blade makes this knife perfect for chopping onions," says Chef Liv.

Chef Benjamin Watson Jr., From The Earth Brewing Company 

Chef Benjamin's pride and joy is his Shun Edo BB1502 chef’s knife. He says, "This knife is special because it was handed down to me from Joey Stallings, the previous chef here at From the Earth. A month after he left I became chef here. The timing of it all was cool to me because I never imagined myself being a chef, but when Joey gave me that knife, I started learning more about knives and it motivated me to take my career as a chef more seriously."

Chef Mark Williams, 1920 Tavern 

Mark uses a Nakiri Japanese knife. The history of the Nakiri is fascinating. Many blade styles associated with feudal Japan came into use after Western contact was established. The Nakiri was one such product and it came at a time of significant modernization in the country.

Traditional feudal culture in Japan would come to an end over the course of the 1800s, culminating in a tremendous shift from a medieval society to a completely industrialized nation. These culinary tools became a feature of Japanese blade makers, and eventually, they arrived at a point of heavy specialization.

"I love this knife for many reasons. The most important reason is because I am left-handed and most chef knives are made for right-handed people. The Nakiri is designed in a way that fits both right and left-handed people," says Mark. "It’s a great knife for just about any kind of preparation. It’s very precise and comfortable. One feature that sets it apart from other knives is its round, tipless shape." The Nakiri allows you to obtain a cosmetic presentation of food, such as spiral peeling, and ornamental julienned strips.

Chef Sam Adams, North End Kitchen & Bar

The Henckels Classic 8" chef's knife is Chef Sam's favorite blade. It boasts a precision, fine-edge blade that is honed for long-lasting sharpness. Henckels has been crafting knives since 1895 and this Spanish-made kitchen workhorse is up for almost any task, strengthened by high-quality German stainless steel. Chef Sam had this go-to knife lifted from his knife kit, but found he could make magic with almost any blade within reach. Here, he holds a favorite knife by Forschner. The commercial quality knives are made in Switzerland by Victorinox.   

Chef Chris Mosely, Bask Steakhouse

This custom-made cleaver was gifted to Chef Chris by a long-time friend and chef. "He had it made by a craftsman in North Carolina and it continues to be my go-to for BBQ and butchering larger bone-in cuts." The large, square blade of this traditional cleaver is designed to be thicker and heavier than most other knives. The large, flat blade of a cleaver is also perfect for pounding or crushing things like herbs. The flat, broad cutting edge makes scraping diced herbs or the contents of a cutting board straight into a bowl incredibly simple.

Chef Nate Peterson, Bask Steakhouse

Chef Nate keeps a Miyabi Kaizen II 8" chef knife close at hand. He ordered it five years ago and uses it daily. Its revolutionary FC61 steel core features fine carbide distribution that creates a razor-sharp and durable blade. "It's the most reliable and consistent chef knife I have owned so far," says Nate. The dramatic 48-layer flower Damascus pattern adds durability and is darkened through acid dipping, adding personality and performance.

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