What kind of knives do you use? What brand? Where are they made? For the last decade, ever since I really got into cooking, I have been a fan of Global knives. I have 16 of them (plus a meat cleaver). Made in Japan from CROMOVA stainless steel which has been designed exclusively for manufacturer Yoshikin, there are a number of things which makes me rate Globals so highly.
Balance. Every serious knife needs to be well balanced and feel good in the hand. Global knives do this extremely well and did so from the very first instant I picked one up. Beyond the balance, a knife needs to be comfortable and specifically for me ambidextrous (or more specifically lefty). Again, the Globals do it and do it well.
But this isn’t a post about Global knives. This is a post about Edge of Belgravia knives. We were sent two of their range – the Edge of Belgravia Damascus Slicer and the Chef’s Knife – to review. How did they stand up to my long-time love of Globals?
Designed in London by contemporary designer, Christian Bird, my first impression of the Damascus range as of course the visual appeal of the lovely Damascus effect along the length of the blade. It looks impressive on anything. Beyond that it is also a single piece just like the Globals with the bolster, tang & handle integrated into the blade to be one continuous piece of steel.
My preference for a knife is one that has a good sized heel, so any size of ‘Chef’s knife’ gets my vote when working in the kitchen. The Damascus Slicer is of course a slicer that has no heel so before I had a chance to use it I was wondering if it was the right type of knife for me. When I picked it up it felt quite nice, a good weight and well balanced but I was unsure on the bulk of the handle.
A slicer is predominately used for cutting through proteins. A back and forth slicing action is used to achieve a clean and consistent cut. With this in mind I went straight in to using it for everything BUT slicing, to really put it through its paces.
With a slew of common vegetables at the ready I began to slice and dice my way through garlic, onions, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. I did not like the knife one little bit in this role. I could not get comfortable with it and found I needed to really concentrate and slow down considerably to get thin, accurate slices.
Obviously I had a feeling that the slicer would under-perform in these tests but I really wanted to push the knife out of its comfort zone to see how it would fare. It would not be fair to leave it here so next up I had some beef and chicken to see what the slicer could do when used as was intended.
Moving on from treating the slicer poorly I gave it a chance to shine, and it did just that. The thing was wickedly sharp and made short and accurate work of carving cooked meat and preparing uncooked meat. It was night and day between the veggies and what it was designed for and after a couple of weeks of use I did find it more comfortable to use as I adjusted to it.
With my preference of knife being anything with a heel the Damascus Chef’s Knife was looking good from the beginning. The sheer utility of a chef’s knife makes it possible to use it in a wide array of tasks like chopping, dicing, slicing and mincing. So I did just that – I used it for everything I could.
Just like the slicer I went through all the vegetables I could and found the knife to be a very impressive implement. With ease I was cutting the thinnest slices of onion and the finest mince of garlic. Compared to my regular knives it was definitely sharper initially than any of mine are now and it did keep going through a tough crowd of tomatoes a lot longer than I anticipated.
Feeling confident I began to work with various meats and my fondness of heeled knives grew along with my appreciation of the quality of the Damascus series. Never did I find the Damascus Chef’s Knife hard to work with and its sharpness was maintained well beyond what I had expected.
Overall I really enjoy using these knives; they look absolutely stunning and would be a great little show-piece in any kitchen. The Damascus Slicer makes carving meats and slicing through big roasts a breeze and the Damascus Chef’s Knife is a jack of all trades being equally capable with the meats as it is the veggies. While I don’t like the handle of the Damascus range I was able to get used to it and improve my accuracy the longer I used them. Having used the Global range for over ten years may have some bearing on my comfort level but Lex agreed that it just didn’t feel as natural in the hand.
A Food Story received goods courtesy of The Trish Nicol Agency.
Edge of Belgravia
Edge of Belgravia Website