Using a Chef’s Knife!
Forks Over Knives #4

As a dermatologist who uses a surgical scalpel at work daily, I was eagerly anticipating “sharpening” my cutting skills during the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course.  With the kitchen and pantry stocked and organized, the “prep phase” of cooking followed, with 2 stages emphasized.
Mise En Place: (MEEZ ahn plahs) is a French term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking. It is a technique that chefs use to assemble meals quickly and effortlessly.

A collection of small bowls for placing the ingredients was recommended for ease of use.  I found several small clear glass bowls at Bed, Bath and Beyond at a very reasonable price and I love using them.  They stack, contain the ingredients well and can be filled, covered and stored prior to actually cooking the prepared dish.

Using a Chef’s Knife: Learning how to properly use a chef’s knife to evenly chop, dice or prep the ingredients is a time saving tool that also allows food to cook evenly. This was a somewhat humbling part of this course. LOL.  Just suffice it to say, that dermatology surgical skills do not automatically carry over to chef knife skills.  But I liked the process they recommended in this section to hone the skills without “injury.”

After watching the video demonstrating proper cutting technique, I put flour on a cutting board surface and then used a scraper to follow the movement of cutting. I looked at the tracks left in the flour to see if I was evenly and consistently performing the correct movement. Then I practiced cutting different types of vegetables.  Frankly, the key, and the most difficult part of this was holding my guide hand with the knuckles abutting the knife and the fingertips curled under to prevent injury to my fingers while setting the stage for uniform cutting. It takes practice, for sure, but I relished in the progress I began to make.  Try it for yourself.  It is fun!

The testing part of this section required submitted photos of my different ‘evenly’ chopped vegetables.
See what you think of my photos.

Okay, so the finished product’s not PERFECT, but I DID have fun.

I would recommend YOU watch some videos on how to properly use a chef knife and then go ahead…
give it a whirl…or maybe a whack! 😊

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