An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives
An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives – Last month I read the book An Edge in the Kitchen by Chad Ward. I’ve heard a lot of good reviews about this book, so I made it one of my first steps in an effort to improve my knife sharpening skills. But how did the book stand up to its high praise?
Well, it is definitely a worthwhile read if you are into kitchen knives or want to dive into the cutlery world a bit more. The book is essentially an expansion of a 2003 eGullet Society tutorial authored by Ward covering knife maintenance and sharpening. Here is the link to that piece.
An Edge in the Kitchen is a very good resource and does a wonderful job when providing advice on knives and sharpening equipment. It is also good at explaining the different styles of knives, types of blade steel, and highlighting the differences between European and Japanese cutlery. I also like how the book debunks several knife myths. Basically, this is a great place to start if you want to learn about sharpening knives.
With that said, the book is not a perfect product. One main flaw is that it is rather poorly organized, illustrated, and laid out. For instance, the knife skills instruction is needlessly repeated in two parts of the book, and the overview of sharpening systems is at the very end but would have been better placed earlier in the book. Even the page margins are funky leaving many pages with a strange emptiness with text squeezed in at the spine.
Other than that, I also found the book a little clumsy. The knife skills section — though informative — felt awkwardly included. I know that buying, using, and maintaining knives seems like a logical combination, but in my opinion, the skills section broke up the flow of the book. I wish the author had kept the book focused on the equipment more and hadn’t tried to address the grander topic of knife skills.
Despite these minor drawbacks, I still found the book useful and I would highly recommend buying it. It is a solid reference for knife sharpening and a good buyer’s guide for knives and accessores. With this book, you will no doubt have all the requisite information to ensure that you have sharp, well-maintained knives for your kitchen.
You can purchase An Edge in the Kitchen at Amazon, and you can also visit Chad Ward’s website at chadwrites.com.