Knife Skills Class
Having had my share of kitchen knife accidents, I was psyched to have the opportunity to take Shuna Fish Lydon's Knife Skills Class this weekend.
Shuna, a pastry chef and the author of eggbeater, has a gift for teaching and knows her knives. It was a pleasure to hear her carefully crafted descriptions, suggestions, and explanations. Shuna is a person of rare precision and, thus, the perfect teacher for someone like me, who likes to wing it. My personal safety has increased enormously from taking this class, starting with the golden rule: when you're cutting, you're focus is only on the task of cutting.
Shuna covered an immense amount of ground in this 2-1/2 hour class: knife types and brands, elements to consider in your choice of knives, knife safety, cutting techniques, keeping your knives sharp and minimalizing opportunities for blunting them. I was a little stunned to realize how pathetically little consideration I had previously given to the subject of knives and cutting in general. Happily, the time to awake is always now.
If you'd asked me before the class if I'd ever bother to peel a grape, a red pepper, or a cherry tomato or supreme an orange, the answer would probably have been something along the lines of "Are you kidding?" But one of the bonuses of taking this class was tasting peeled red pepper and supremed orange and having one's socks knocked off with the incredible taste of these raw peel-less fruits and vegetables. I'd never have guessed there'd be such a change in taste. And then you get to supreme and peel your own and try out different knives and techniques in the hands-on portion of the class.
Shuna just posted her latest class schedule (Hmm... Pie & Galette Dough) with some out-of-state opportunites. I can't recommend her more highly as a teacher. An awesome experience.
Below, Shuna demos safe carrot cutting: