I’m teaching a knife skills class tonight at L’academie de Cuisine in Bethesda (www.lacademie.com) so I thought I’d share a few tips to keep you sharp in the kitchen.
1. Always cut on a cutting board. Smooth, slippery surfaces, like marble, metal or glass, can damage your knife’s blade or cause it to slip as you’re cutting.
2. Place a damp paper towel underneath your cutting board to keep it from moving while you chop.
3. NEVER put knives in a sink full of water. Water, especially sudsy water will hide the knife and an unsuspecting dishwasher can cut themselves if they don’t know the knife is there.
4. NEVER try to catch a falling knife. A wise person once said, “a falling knife has no handle,” meaning it’s more likely you’ll grab the blade instead of the handle in your attempt to catch it. If you drop your knife, take one big step back, put your hands in the air and no one will get hurt.
5. Dull knives are dangerous. You are far more likely to cut yourself by trying to force a dull blade through your food than with a nice, sharp blade. If you’re unskilled at using the whetstone to keep your blade razor-sharp, leave it to the professionals. Many kitchen supply stores will sharpen your blades while you shop.