Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wüsthof Launches Classic Line and Holds Knife Skills Class at Gourdo's

I learned to cook proper meals when I became a wife and mom more than 20 years ago. It's one of the ways I show my love for my family -- to provide them with delicious and nutritious meals that I enjoy making in the kitchen.

a good cook knows how important sharp knives are in the kitchen
One of my pet peeves though is having to use dull knives. Most times, trying to sharpen existing ones that were poorly made would just give us damaged blades. Some knives also break off from their handles. So, over the years, my husband and I kept buying various types of knives that could help us be more efficient in preparing and cooking meals. 

Imagine how glad I am to finally be able to attend a Knife Skills Class at Gourdo's where I learned so much about knives! The class featured Wüsthof knives, which are being manufactured in Solingen, Germany for over 200 years.

Chef Brando after demonstrating how to cut a whole chicken
Chef Brando Santos, Seniour Sous Chef of Unilever Food Solutions, conducted the class. He confided that his very first knife as a culinary arts student in 1999 was a Wüsthof. "It was an investment on my mom's part but that knife is still with me," he shared. "I tried other knives over the years but I still go back to this brand."

According to Chef Brando, a sharp knife is a safe knife, which is why we need to keep the ones we use sharpened all the time. He taught us how to use a Wüsthof Whetstone and a Wüsthof Steel properly. I realized during the demonstration that I know so little about knife sharpening! For instance, the steel doesn't actually sharpen knives, it can only hone them and help keep the blade straight. He also advised not to let our expensive knives be sharpened by just anyone. 

to test a knife's sharpness, it should be able to easily slice a piece of bond paper
Here's sharing some of my other takeaways from the class that I would be applying at home from now on:

  • Use a bench scraper to remove sliced food off the cutting board. Don't use your knife because it will dull the blade.
  • Cut onions properly so you don't lose a lot of water. Knowing the proper knife cuts is very important to maximize colors and shapes of vegetables.
  • When cutting small veggies, use a small knife or the tip of a big knife.
  • A sharp knife won't put too much pressure on your wrist.
  • On slicing food, even with this menial task, do it with precision.
  • When cutting hard veggies (e.g. carrots and potatoes), square off one side so the flat part goes on the board and the vegetable will not roll off.
  • Step back and never catch a falling knife. (Apparently, many do not do this!) 
"Knife skills is a motor skill you have to develop," explained Chef Brando. "Start with a really good knife and practice with it. Remember, the blade should be longer than the food you need to cut. You also need a blade that will provide you perfect control."

a set of Wüsthof Classic knives in a very nice organizer
When buying knives, he recommends choosing those with a full tang (where the blade and handle is just one piece/assembly). "The blade should extend all the way to the handle." What's great about Wüsthof knives is that they are certified for safety and sanitation by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) because there are no tiny cracks or spaces whatsoever between the blade and handle for tiny pieces of food to get trapped in and breed bacteria.

Alex Hunn, Area Sales Manager from Wüsthof Germany, described that in producing one of their knives, 40 major manufacturing steps are involved, following strict rules in order to achieve the finest quality, while remaining environment-friendly. The Wüsthof Classic range, for instance, is forged from a single blank of high carbon stainless steel (chromium-molybdenum-vanadium), a special alloy that ensures every Wüsthof Classic knife retains its razor sharp edge longer.

Alex and Chef Brando
With the new Wüsthof Precision Edge Technology (PEtec), the blades are measured before sharpening using lasers and computers to calculate the precise sharpening angle for each blade. In addition, precision robots sharpen the blades on a whetstone before the knives are given a final polish using a special disk. I bet you also didn't know how much work it takes to come up with a great knife!

In addition, the use of PETec results in extremely high initial cutting performance, exceptionally long edge retention, and optimum cutting edge along the entire length of the blade. These make it possible to make clean and precise cuts as shown by Chef Brando who used various items from the Classic line to execute different cutting and slicing techniques (do attend the upcoming Knife Skills Class to learn them 😉). 

precisely cut garlic and onions
(no wonder chefs study culinary ARTS!)
By now, you must be wondering what kind of Wüsthof knife you should invest in first, right? Chef Brando suggests starting your collection of good knives with a Chef's knife (also known as a Cook's knife) then add a paring knife, a boning knife, and so on.

The demo class I attended was just a sneak peek of the Knife Skills Class scheduled for January 28 to 29, 2017. To be held at Gourdo's Workshop Megamall from 1 to 5PM, participants of the 2-day hands-on class will get the chance to work with fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood. The culminating activity will be a cooking demonstration using the ingredients the students worked with. A fee of P5,000 already covers the use of knives during class and ingredients as well as includes a certificate of completion and a free Wüsthof paring knife. 

poster for 2017 Knife Skills Class
Susan San Miguel, Gourdo's Assistant General Manager for Merchandising, said the class is just one of the many workshops they conduct. "We are thankful to Wüsthof for supporting our vision of bringing together homemakers, food enthusiasts, professional chefs, and restaurant owners for collective learning."

Wüsthof products, which include forged knives along with cutting boards, knife blocks, kitchen tools, and scissors are exclusively distributed by Gourdo's, with branches at Uptown Mall and The Fort in BGC, Megamall, Alabang Town Center, Glorietta 4, Trinoma, Greenbelt 5, Gateway Mall, Robinsons Magnolia, and The Promenade in Greenhills.  For inquiries and more information, log on to or call Gourdo's 24-hour hotline at (02) 812.3022. 

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