Knife skills

Technique videos from a cooking teacher’s kitchen

July 30, 2010

On her blog Beyond Salmon, cooking teacher Helen Rennie (who, as longtime readers may recall, preceded Kelly Myers as our Front Burner columnist) has been busy making cooking videos about knife skills — a topic she feels strongly about.

One teaches how to properly slice an onion; another how to dice the same vegetables. Most recently, Rennie shows how to master the claw grip:

Movie not displayed because either Javascript or Flash player is not available.

Says Rennie,

I started making videos as teaching tools for my students … dicing onions is a multi-step (somewhat complicated) process, and I thought it would be handy for them to have a reminder after the knife skills class. Knife skills … are … way better demonstrated in videos rather than pictures because they are all about the motion and manual dexterity.
I feel particularly strongly about knife skills. If only we could get the new generation of cooks literate about knife skills, they’d cook more, eat more vegetables, and be a lot healthier. So many of my students subscribe to CSAs and so much of this lovely local produce ends up in the trash. It spoils before they can cook it all mostly due to poor storage and avoiding large amounts of chopping. Food politics and health consciousness are good and all, but that’s not what gets you dinner on the table on a Tuesday night when you are tired after work. Knife skills is something practical and tangible that can fundamentally change your cooking decisions. I find it ridiculous that memorizing how many cups are in a quart are part of the home economics curriculum, but learning knife skills is not. So I guess I am a bit of a knife skills evangelist.

And we are all ears.

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1. by Carol Hickman on Aug 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM PDT

OMG! Now I know why I go so darn slowly: I’m looking, not feeling. Thanks to Helen and Culinate for changing my chopping life!

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