What makes YOU happy? After years of reflection, I finally came to the realization that creating
great food and meeting fellow "foodies" made me happiest inside. I also realized that from within the culinary
world there were specific things that made me happiest - people who always wanted to better themselves and - of course
- a really sharp knife !. Actually, as I worked my way through
two culinary schools and a brief stint in the industry itself, I found that a common source of happiness was "that"
sharp knife. The ease of preparation is often the
foundation of a successful meal - hence happy people. Once I became comfortable sharpening my knives on a tri-stone, students would ask me to sharpen their knives.
And while I loved seeing them smile at my finished work, I knew it was too much time on my end and too little effort on theirs.
I decided I needed to find a more time effective method of sharpening knives that also maintained a great edge.
Enter Bob Kramer. My schools head Chef showed me his most prized knife before I left for my internship
- a Bob Kramer Chefs knife. In short - $600 to $2000 dollars apiece, a full two year waiting list (and he's not taking
any more names for awhile) but OMG, what a beautiful knife. The balance, the handle and most amazing... the BLADE!
I interned at New England Culinary in Vermont and found myself right back in my sharpening comfort zone with the students
I met there. I decided to call Bob and ask his advice about sharpening systems. Thinking I'd get his receptionist
or some complicated phone mail system, I was thrown off when he answered his own phone. Not only that, but he let me
waste at least two hours of his time. We talked about a million things that day, but what most impressed me was his
sincerity and dedication to his craft. When I returned to Portland, I worked in a couple of restaurants and was eventually
asked to come back to Oregon Culinary Institute to work as a kitchen TA. One of my greatest culinary desires was recognized
at that time. To teach that which I loved. Needless to say one of my favorite subjects was knife skills and sharpening.
Yet there I was, stuck once again with a time deficit! I remembered Bob, but forgot what he had recommended in the end.
I called him up and was elated to have him ask me if I'd like to learn his technique. In fact, he made it clear that
he planned on teaching a small few people his technique (ideally in different regions) and then move on from sharpening and
focus on making his knives. He suggested I take it mobile making it more available to those who would appreciate it
most and keep it cheap so more people could enjoy the edge (and education) I could provide them. I jumped at the chance
- and hundreds of knives later, here I am.
I put allot
of time and spirit into my "mobile shop" and enjoy showing it to people who are passionate about their knives and
the Zen spirit a truly sharp knife brings them. If you care about your knives, you will appreciate the care and attention
I give them. There you have it... Zen Blades.