My New Prep Cook

June 29, 2009 · 4 comments

When I asked Miles if he had any special projects in mind to work on over his summer vacation, he told me “I want to help you in the kitchen when you cook.”

Yesterday we picked out a knife and cutting board that will be exclusively his.

New knife and board

The board is an OXO with rubber edges and feet to keep it from slipping. The knife is a füri five inch santoku with a silicone grip handle.

Today, before dinner, we reviewed the rules for using the knife:

  1. The knife always sits on the board until it’s needed.
  2. Do not wave or point with the knife.
  3. Work slowly.
  4. Keep your fingers tucked out of the way.

After some practice of simply picking up and holding the knife with the proper grip, I set him to work cutting up a cucmber for our dinner:

The first cut

I realized that he’s tall enough that he should be standing to work with the knife; it will also give him more control.

He’s thrilled to have helped. That may change tomorrow when I make him flute mushroom caps, tournee potatoes, and prepare a cup of brunoise.


Colin Summers June 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm

He looks like a master already!

Rudy has had two cooking classes so far (quite some time ago, nothing recently). The first was all about cutting and they made a soup. So nothing but chopping vegetables and learning knife handling.

I am sure you have a plan, but make sure that he learns the point-on-the-board method and how to sharpen (steel) the blade.

David June 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Knife handling is the essential skill. Point-on-the-board is the next lesson. Sharpening is years off, because he’ll learn to use a ceramic hone, which requires serious coordination.

Bryan June 30, 2009 at 3:34 pm

You also have to teach him to say “Yes, Chef!” whenever you tell him to do something in the kitchen.

David June 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Might as well make it “Oui, chef!” if I’m going to work him though the brigade system.

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