Knife sharpening Honing using a steel Hold the steel at an angle of 45 degrees with your thumb facing upwards on the handle. Maintain an angle of 10 degrees against the steel. Using a slicing motion, move the knife against the steel along its full length. Work from the heel of the knife to the tip. Stroke the other side of the knife against the steel the same way. Two or three strokes each side should be enough. Wash and dry the knife carefully.
Knife sharpening continued... Sharpening using a stone Put the stone securely lengthwise on a bench. A folded damp cloth under it will stop it from slipping. Smear the stone with water, oil or detergent – depending on the type. Hold the knife at 10 – 15 degree angle to the stone. Use long even strokes to move the knife along the whole length of the stone. Work the knife from heel to tip and alternate between sides. Clean the knife under cold running water to wash off grindings. Dry knife carefully.
Knife safety Always use the correct knife for the job Knives should always be kept sharp, blunt knives can cause injury due to excessive pressure applied to the knife The tip of the knife should ALWAYS point down when carrying a knife A knife should be placed flat on a chopping board when not in use Knives should be washed and wiped from the back of the knife Knives should be put away immediately after use Knives should never be left in a sink of water
Precision cutting This is the cutting of food, usually vegetables, into specific sizes and shapes in order to garnish/enhance the presentation of food. Julienne – long thin matchstick strips (3mm x 3mm x 40mm) Brunoise – very fine dice (3mm) [cut julienne first then dice] Jardinière – batons (4mm x 4mm x 20mm) Macedoine – large dice (8mm dice) Paysanne – thin slices (shapes vary) Chiffonnade – very fine shredding (lettuce, herbs etc)
Rough cutting This is the coarse cutting of food, usually vegetables that are not directly used for service i.e. Vegetables for stock, stew, soups.
Mirepoix is an example of a rough cut/dice and usually consists of onions, carrot, celery and leek.