Back in DC there’s this totally awesome cooking store called Hill’s Kitchen, where I took an intro knife
skills skillz class. Guys, I had no idea I could do so many things wrong with something as seemingly simple as chopping stuff. Have no fear, however; if you’re in the same boat, here are my three must-know tips from the class on how to be a better cutter:
1. Get a grip. So turns out there’s actually a proper form to cutting, y’all! Grip the (chef’s) knife just above/in front of the handle, stand up straight and put your feet hip-width apart. I think this is to make you pay attention so you focus on cutting the food, and not your fingers. Which I support.
2. Off with ‘is ‘ead! And feet! The first three chops to everything (disclosure: I haven’t actually tried cutting everything) are to nip off the ends and then do a cut down the length so that the food can lie flat on the cutting board, like so:
3. The magic’s in the motion, baby. When you think of cutting, you hear “CHOP! CHOP! CHOP!” and picture an up/down, up/down, up/down motion in your head. But really the noise you should hear when you cut is a smooth “swish, swish” and the motion of each cut should be more of a rocking backward then forward and through the food, with the tip of your knife never leaving the cutting board. Here, take a look:
That’s it! Now you can chop with the best of ’em. Here are a couple additional resources from About.com with more info. Happy cutting!