Knife Skills Every Aspiring Chef Should Know1

Every chef is expected to master many different cutting techniques. There is a good reason to why you are being taught on knife work on your very first day in culinary school or your first job starting as a cook in the kitchen. Many people struggle to get into cooking because a basic task like chopping ingredients takes up time, making the process require patience. This is why becoming efficient with a knife in the kitchen can be really helpful during food preparations. Your knife skills can make you stand out and prove that you are on the right path to becoming a top chef.

From the versatile chops to culinary knife cuts like julienne, here we have collected the most important knife skills chefs should know.

• Slice

The slice method is the simplest skill one should master. This requires the blade to come up from the cutting board, where the tip of the blade is placed at the farthest point of the object at a 45 degree angle. With the slicing technique the tip of the blade should touch the cutting board before the rear. It is the easiest and fastest method to prepare your vegetables in creating uniform pieces to cook.

• Mince

Mincing gives chefs finely cut chunks of an ingredient which brings out more flavour of a dish. The proper mincing technique varies depending on the ingredient but more commonly used to cut up garlic and onions.

Step 1: Begin by using a sharp knife to slice off the roof of the garlic.

Step 2: Thinly slice the garlic clove lengthwise.

Step 3: Slice the garlic clove by cutting across the layers to create a fine mince.

• Julienne

Slice through ingredients to create stick-thin shaped strips using the julienne method. Common items to be julienned are carrots for carrots julienne or potatoes for Julienne Fries. With the right method it will leave you with thin rectangular cuts similar to matchsticks. This culinary cut usually applies to vegetables but it can also be applied when preparing meats.

• Chiffonade

Chiffonade translates to little ribbons in French as this refers to this cutting technique forming ribbons from finely cutting herb or vegetable leaves. This slicing technique is accomplished by stacking leaves into a pile and rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll that produces long thin strips of ribbon.

Learning how to use basic knife skills is an essential step for every chef that makes cooking easier and safer. Find out if you have what it takes to thrive in the culinary world from our article: 5 Key Characteristics of a Successful Chef.

 

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