Food Stuff

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

Watching Bill the Butcher in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York reminded us that there are few kitchen utensils as useful as a good, sharp knife. But you don’t have to spend $80 on a commercial-quality knife to get decent cutlery for your kitchen. Dexter-Russell, America’s oldest and largest maker of professional cutlery, has a line of inexpensive knives known as Russell International that are available in any restaurant-supply store. The blades are made in Japan according to Dexter-Russell’s design and specifications. Even though the white polypropylene handles look cheap, these knives cut like the dickens, which is why many kitchen pros use them. You can purchase four of the most useful knives—chef’s, fillet, paring and bread—for less than half the cost of one of the $80 jobs. Despite the low price, these knives sharpen and hold their edge very effectively, which certainly would bring a wicked grin to Bill the Butcher.