Food April 2007

Cool Cuts

Three must-own knives—and a really desirable optional one
knife

Victorinox 3.25-inch paring knife (about $5). Thin, flexible, cheap, and because it is so easily replaced, OK to put in the dishwasher—though other knives are not, because abrasive detergents and rapid cycles of hot and cold water dull the blade. (Also, it’s best to store knives on a magnetic rack, where the blades don’t bump into anything else and are in rust-resisting open air.)

knife

Wüsthof Gourmet 7-inch offset serrated knife ($60 but easy to find on the Web for about $45). Designed for slicing meats and bread, though I use it for everything: The serrated blade cuts firmly and cleanly, and the offset handle gives leverage far beyond the knife’s heft.

knife

Mac 8.5-inch chef’s knife ($130). Perfect balance and weight for my hand and arm, with a nice rectangular handle. Its straight-edged thin blade slices wonderfully without seeming frighteningly fast.

knife

MKS 3-inch ”deep paring” (drop-point) knife ($150 from www.mksdesign.com). The spatula-shaped blade makes this good both for paring and as a miniature chef’s knife, and the bicycle-grip handle is irresistibly cool.

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

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