Look Sharp

Kristina’s Bookshelf

Sharp: The Definitive Guide to Knives, Knife Care, and Cutting Techniques, with Recipes from Great Chefs
By Josh Donald (with Molly Gore),
photography by Molly DeCoudreaux
Chronicle Books, 2018

Experienced cooks will tell you that good knives are fundamental to good cooking, and that’s certainly a message at Bernal Cutlery, a much-loved shop in San Francisco specializing in all things knife. Owner Josh Donald is now opening an Oakland outpost, and if that weren’t enough to excite East Bay cooks, he’s also just published a comprehensive guide to knives featuring 15 recipes from notable chefs. Sharp has been described as “a knife skills class in book form.” It highlights dishes enhanced by specific knife cuts and also provides an overview and history of some of the best knives from around the world, with advice on how to purchase, care for, and use them. I particularly enjoyed the book’s introduction as Donald (a native Los Angeleno) describes his childhood fascination with knives and how that passion took him around the world and into his retail business. Although the book will certainly have wide appeal, it’s a particularly valuable resource for locals who appreciate all that Bernal Cutlery and its specialists have to offer.

Note: Bernal Cutlery’s new shop will be at 40th and Broadway in Oakland alongside butcher shop and restaurant Clove and Hoof. They’ll offer a unique selection of handmade Japanese, French, German, and American knives, vintage and antique knives, cooking supplies, sharpening supplies, and whetstone sharpening services.

If you’re looking to learn more about knives, two other books might be of interest.

Knife: The Culture, Craft and Cult of the Cook’s Knife by Tim Hayward (Quadrille, 2017). Hayward, an award-winning food writer, has published a well-photographed guide to knives, with in-depth profiles of 40
different types.

Knife Skills: An Illustrated Kitchen Guide to Using the Right Knife the Right Way by Bill Collins (Storey, 2014) is a small volume in the helpful Storey Basics® series that supplies short, simple, informative instructions for
knife use.

Meet Josh Donald, author of Sharp: The Definitive Guide to Knives, Knife Care, and Cutting Techniques, with Recipes from Great Chefs.

Friday June 8, 6:30-7:30pm
Omnivore Books on Food
3885a Cesar Chavez St, San Francisco
Free. Info: here

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with
our readers.