Prior to culinary school, I thought a knife was just a pointy object used to open a package or to cut something in half. However, now that I am 8 months into my culinary arts training, I see knives differently. As Anthony Bourdain explains, "...its weight, its shape - these are all extensions of our arms, and in many ways, our personalities." A knife represents a relationship between a chef and his tool; and as my skills develop in the kitchen, I reached out to local craftsman, Joel Bukiewicz, the owner of Cut Brooklyn to learn more about knives.
MY JOURNEY FROM MANHATTAN TO CUT BROOKLYN
I relied on Google Maps and the F Train to get me to Brooklyn. I counted 10 stops until I reached 4th Avenue and realized I had left Manhattan once the subway went above ground.
When I exited the train, I reached into my pocket for my iPhone and noticed that Cut Brooklyn was only 2 minutes and 30 seconds away by foot– this made me happy. As I approached the workshop, I saw the signature logo on the glass pane: Cut Brooklyn.
As I approached the screen door, I recognized Joel immediately and gave a little knock. Should I enter? Am I disturbing work in progress? Joel told me to come in and I immediately felt like I was walking into his house for a cup of a tea. I took off my jacket and looked around the room; I saw a motorcycle, a long table with chairs, multiple knives being shipped off to their new homes, and a strong wooden block that holds all of the freshly cut knives for sale.
I pulled a beautiful lemongrass colored handle from its heavily magnetized block and took a good look at the 9-inch blade. As I rocked the carbon steel across the carrot, these thoughts came to mind: sharp, good weight, long blade, serious business, pretty rivets.
PURCHASING FROM CUT BROOKLYN:
Joel utilizes social media forums to vend his latest wares by posting a photo on the internet as soon as new knives are ready. If you’re interested in purchasing a handcrafted knife, I highly recommend that you stalk his Twitter handle @CUTbrooklyn before they sell out.
SIGNATURE KNIVES: Cut Brooklyn has a two-year waitlist for knife orders, but that left little room for creativity in the workshop. Joel is known for two signature knives: the Prospect 240 and Prospect 120 Petty, but he has also made boning, filleting, butchering, and one or two oyster knives. Since Joel and his team are passionate about building quality knives for their customers, they’ve abolished the wait list system and simply create knives they love.
VISIT CUT BROOKLYN:
461 3rd Ave Brooklyn, NY 11215
Located on 3rd Ave (between 29th and 30th Street) in Gowanus, Joel has public shop hours on Wednesday from 3-7pm and Saturday 12-5pm. Visit Joel and his team when you’re in Brooklyn or get in touch via email or Twitter.