Ways of the knife

Carolyn Kumpe, culinary instructor at East Bay Restaurant Supply, says she needs three knives, and only three knives, to do just about everything:

“First, a 3- or 4-inch paring knife, because you can slice small things and peel with it. You can also mince shallots and garlic and, if you had to, you could debone a chicken.

“An 8-inch Japanese chef’s knife, perhaps a santoku [Japanese for “three good things”], which is quite trendy right now. You can use it to slice cooked meats because it has a paper-thin edge. You can also do detail work like mincing scallions and they don’t stick because of the fine edge.

“Of course, you need a serrated bread knife, because you can’t replace that for slicing bread, cake and pastries. You could also use that on sliced meats, like roasts.”