Finding the Perfect Chef Knife

Chefs travel with their knives rolled up in a special knife roll with pockets for their blades, large and small, maybe their filleting knife, a long slicing knife and a sharpening steel to take the tiny burrs off the edges. Home chefs usually rely on fewer special blades but nothing in any kitchen can replace a really good knife. So what’s that? Corey Milligan, owner and founder of the newly opened New West KnifeWorks in Park City, has lots of opinions about what makes a good knife.

“The toughness and the hardness of the steel are what’s important,” he says. Milligan believes he has come up with the “highest-performance kitchen knife in the world today.” (Don’t get him talking about steel, if you don’t have all day.)

While he admits there are other great knives out there, there are few as beautiful. The G-Fusion handles of many of Milligan’s knives are made of bomb-proof aerospace-grade, fiberglass epoxy composite. That’s great. But each layer is a different color and when polished, reveals a rainbow of color.  “Your tools should be beautiful,” according to Milligan. New West KnifeWorks, 675 S. Main St., Park City, 435-649-7219, Learn more about New West Knifeworks here.

More Great (but not as beautiful) Knives

  • Henckels Pro S Chef Knife
  • Wusthof Classic Ikon Santoku
  • Messermeister Meridian Elite Stealth Chef Knife
  • Global Santoku (G-48)
  • Shun Classic Chef Knife

Knife Tips

  • Don’t put it in the dishwasher.
  • Wash and dry it quickly by hand.
  • Have it sharpened professionally. (Most high-end knives include lifetime sharpening service.)
  • Keep the blade covered with a leather sheath or in a knife block.
  • Don’t use your knife for anything but cutting.
  • Be careful.

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Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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