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The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 9:14 am

This is primarily for kitchen employees, but could be a worthwhile read for anyone. I'm about to start applying for new jobs and will most likely be working a stage, a night (maybe two) in the kitchen, which acts as a job interview. This will involve me bringing some number of knives. My day to day knife roll holds a honing rod, two chef knives, a sujihiki, a bread knife, and a paring knife. A nakiri and a boning knife also make appearances as the need arises. Non-knife tools are a fish spatula, a micro grater, a peeler, an oyster knife, and a wine key.

I've spoken with others in the past about what they bring and many say they take less for various reasons. I think not having anything stolen is a good one. In past stages I was so proud to just own knives, but now I'm probably going to bring it back to one gyuto, the paring knife, and the peeler. What do you bring to interviews and, for that matter, what do you carry on a daily basis?

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:24 am

I also like to have plating forceps or tweezers, plating spoons, fish bone tweezers, fish scaler, moribashi, and maki-su.8-)
I also carry those non-slip, webbed, foam/rubber mats for underneath my cutting board.
Knives of course include what you mentioned, bull nose 12" slicer, pettys, wine cork(for deburring), and of course liquid Band-Aid. :roll:

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:50 am

LEPUS <> I will venture to say many have told you to bring less because in 95% of professional kitchens knives are not viewed as the treasures we view them as here. In most situations, the new guy who shows up with a kit of extensive knives is scoffed at as a prima donna. Off the bat, it makes a poor impression in most kitchens. Remember... knives don't make a cook; the cook does. You need a gyuto... period. A parer... whatever. Everything else is gravy; I mean tongs/spat/peeler ok, a steel maybe if you use germans.

You walk into a new kitchen & prove you can perform with what they have as they do day in & day out. If you get the gig, then bring in your toys.

If we're talking about a particularly elite kitchen, this advice changes... slightly, but honestly, a cook makes the cook. If the Chef is decent, he'll recognize your knife skills from a gyuto. I doubt your stage will have you boning meats or fileting fish, but if so, OK for a boning knife, but again... I'm not letting a stage touch my high dollar proteins until he's a proven employee.

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:34 pm

Mel nailed it.

Bring your most understated gyuto. Somebody with a super expensive knife and no knife skills is definately underwhelming. A paring knife, a peeler, tweezers perhaps (99% of kitchens there will be some spare set for you to use.)

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:12 pm

I don't see anything wrong with what you mentioned you carry on a daily basis. If you can justify having each of those in your kit then it shouldn't be a problem. However if you have 4 knives out on your board just to complete some prep, people might get the impression you are playing rather than working.

thinning it down to a single gyuto and dropping the suji, naikiri and boning knife you should be good to go.

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:46 pm

Would you go to a job as a construction worker without your tool belt and no screwdrivers or hammers or pliers on day one? You own them, bring them to the dance with you, as they are a part of the package that you are selling during your stage. You are marketing that you are bringing all of your skills and tools to use for the business, why short yourself?

Note: Don't let anybody use your stuff

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 4:53 pm

Gyuto and a peeler. Maybe a paring knife.

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 6:48 pm

I've certainly heard about bringing just a few knives to avoid looking like a prick, but I've never really seen it that way. All the stages I've seen, even some I've evaluated, mostly ignore personal equipment. When someone's full of hot air, it shows up quickly enough. I think the most important knife work I've done while staging is mince peppers into a very fine proto paste.

Still, the knives are about their impression of me and not mine of them. I'll keep it light and modest.

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:17 pm

I think you should simply bring what you know you'll use and nothing more.

Re: The Knife Roll, or, What to Bring on a Stage

Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:46 am

Gyuto
Parer
PEELER
Bread Knife
Micro Plane
Plating Tweezers (if high end)
Rubber Spat / Wooden Spoon / Grill Tongs
Fish Spat

That's it. Barebones that's my traveling kit for stage or going to a new kitchen to help friends, my daily kit for work includes a crap ton more as in I needed to order the Chef Pak as I'm moving from dining outlet to dining outlet and need a big portable tool set.
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