Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I have joined the Elite

with a Shun Knife

photograph picture Shun Elite 8 inch chef's knife

Lucky me, my mother surprised me at Christmas with a $200 voucher for Sur la Table again. And I'd only just finished spending the last one. This time I had a clear idea of what I needed: A saucepan and a Chef's knife. My friend Del came with me to Sur La Table to watch me choose. First of all we spent about 20 minutes choosing exactly the kind of saucepan I needed. So far so good, $100, just enough change for a Chef's Knife. In Sur La Table they let you handle all the knifes, so without worrying about names or trends or prices I decided to choose my knife by feel. All the way through the competition, a J.A. Henckels® knife was heading the field, easily winning out over cooler looking knives like the Global.

Of course - there was one knife that the server didn't bring down to show me, but it caught my eye nevertheless. You want to try the Shun? Do I want to? Yes, of course. Wow! That's all I can say. When I put it in my hand, if felt like it had been born to be there. Handcrafted in Seki City, Japan, the center of ancient samurai tradition, the Elite’s stunning design is apparently directly inspired by the artful aesthetics of samurai swords. It's beautiful and it feels great too. Lucky me and a huge thank you to my lovely mum!
(I only had 5 cents change out of $200 for this beauty so the saucepan of my dreams will have to wait til next time)

A Response from Dosa

Dosa Valencia Mission District San Francisco Restaurant Review Last week I published a review of Dosa. Owner Anjan Mitra emailed me with a response I would like to share with you. Additionally, Anjan left some very detailed comments on the original review which you might be interested in checking out too.

Links, Resources and Further Reading

Bay Area Resources:
At the Ferry Building | Sur La Table

Other Resources:
Online Shopping | Sur La Table
Find Shun | at Kershaw Knives
Blogging Shun too | NYC Foodie

Archive Alert! On this date in 2005: Hachis Parmentier de Canard.

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I have joined the Elite


  • At 17/1/06 10:17, Blogger Owen said…

    Got to appreciate his response. Much much better than getting defensive and attacking you and food blogs in general. Actually a nice enough response that I will give the restaurant a try when I get the chance!

  • At 17/1/06 10:20, Blogger Barbara Fisher said…

    Oh, the Shun Elite--I just bought myself one of those with the last of my Generic Winter Holiday money from Zak's parents. As I said to Zak--"I don't need the knife, but I would rather have it than pretty clothes any day."

    I already had a Shun, but not one of the Elites. I was helping our friend, Heather, buy her first good knives--she ended up with one of the lower-model Shun santoku, and the Global paring knife. But while we were there, with her trying all the knives, my eyes lit on the Elite, and it was all over. Mark, the Sur La Table employee who was helping us, grinned as he set it my hand.

    When I told him I would take it, he laughed, long and low and said, "I knew that once you touched it, it would go home with you." (He's assisted in classes with me and knows how I love knives.)

    We got the exact same on, Sam--and you are right--it just feels so good in the hand, and is so sharp.

    An absolutely lovely knife. Definately better than a pretty dress or another pair of shoes....

  • At 17/1/06 11:08, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I very much appreciate Anjan Mitra's response and email. I'm more than willing to give Dosa a second chance. There's always a risk involved when you go to a restaurant in the first few weeks. I really do hope they succeed in producing delicious South Indian food, because there is nothing I would like more than a decent idli/dosa restaurant in San Francisco!

    Sam, have fun with your new knife! I have many knives, but I don't have a Shun (yet).

  • At 17/1/06 11:10, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Oh, shoot. Don't let Cranky read this post. We have a drawer full of Globals, but for Christmas I got him his very own knife, the MAC recommended by Michael at Cooking for Engineers. It's nice, feels good in the hand, and Cranky's very happy with it... But, oy! That Shun!
    Also: Very grand of Anjan to reply, and he even moved me to want to give Dosa a try. You are a hero for publishing the entire back-and-forth.

  • At 17/1/06 11:28, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So how does it feel? Incidentally what knives did you have before?

  • At 17/1/06 12:53, Blogger Guy said…

    OooOooo, knives! I like knives. Don't use it for cutting bones.

    Cookie, "a drawer full of knives"? What in pork chop hell are you doing putting knives in a drawer? Bad kitty. You'll ding up the edges, git yerself a knife block or magnetic knife holder, ya bone. Or give them to me!

    Slice CHOP !!!

  • At 17/1/06 13:27, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It looks good; is that a hint about the saucepan!!

  • At 17/1/06 13:41, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can't believ I could stop myself from buying the whole shop.Watching you choosing was kind of interesting. I wish they let you bring onions next time... ;)

    Since you have a Samourai knife, maybe you'nne the helmet too?

  • At 17/1/06 15:36, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is a beautiful knife!!!!

  • At 17/1/06 16:11, Blogger Foodwriter said…

    We are signing up for wedding registries right now and I have to restrain myself from signing up for too many of these super expensive goodies..... A Kitchen Aid here, a lemon zester there... That is a gorgeous knife.

  • At 17/1/06 17:22, Blogger Greg said…

    Sam you can be a Ninja blogger now! Sur la Table rocks.I've spent way to much money there.

  • At 17/1/06 17:32, Blogger Kalyn Denny said…

    Oh dear, don't let Biggles know that I have my knives in a drawer too. I have nice little wicker dividers between the different sizes. Does that redeem me even a tiny bit? The knife sounds wonderful. A teacher at my school works at Sur La Table, and they give me a discount (not sure why, maybe they think I might mention them on the blog, but I never have. Maybe just for good will - they like me I think). Anyway, it's wonderful.

  • At 17/1/06 17:53, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    Oh, no. Biggles (and Kalyn too): We have an in-drawer knife block. Coolest thing ever; everything is neatly hidden away, and each blade gets its own wooden slot.
    Sam, let your mum know exactly which saucepan you adored... I think she's feeling gifty!

  • At 17/1/06 22:34, Blogger kitchenmage said…

    Now that is a pretty blade! Is there some signifigance to the wavy edge line -- that shows so well in your pcture, btw -- or is it a manufacturing artifact? or just pretty?

  • At 18/1/06 08:10, Blogger Sam said…

    Owen - yes Anjan is taking a refreshing approach and seems keen to improve based on criticisms. This is great

    Barbara - Ah - you have one too - then you know how great they feel.

    Brett - I am sure Anjan will appreciate any more views you have after a 2nd visit. This is my first real j=knife - i am so excited!

    Cookie - not a hero - but if you come into town to try it - let us know!

    Gastrochick - the handle is unbelievably comfortable and I think it is weighted just right for my tastes, before i was using a kyocera ceramic knife fred bought for me to use and I just found it too precious, Hence my desire for a new one that I could be a bit more brutal with. Now I can crush garlic with my knife - whooppee!

    Dr B - ok no bones thanks for the tip. Did you read Cookie's explanation of drawer use. SOunds plausible to me.

    Mum - not a hint - that's not a very glamourous 40th birthday present is it now?

    Del - I have tried it onions, though they might as well have been invisible, the way the knife chopped through them. Thank you for keeping me shopping company.

    Clare - I highly recommend it if you are feeling spendy.

    Girl in a Whirl - how exciting. I would like to get married only for the registry!

    Greg - I never go clothes shopping since discovering the wonders of SLT!

    Kalyn - I don't think Biggles has noticed your comment yet. We'll keep it quiet, shhh! GOod job on the discount.

    Cookie - i think she is panning my 40th bday present, but shouldn't I wish for something a bit more glam for a 40th?
    She is meeting me in New York, so should be a larf!

    Kitchenmage - I just thinkit is for prettiness. Will have to read the brochure more carefully.

    thanks for the comments everyone


  • At 19/1/06 05:43, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think the call the wavy line the dragons breath? tail? something like that. It is a traditional line that I am sure is supposed to represnt the knife's samurai past as all samurai swords (good ones anyway) have it. It was traditionaly made by applying mud to the the cutting side as this caused this side to cool at a slower rate and be easier to sharpen than the back, but the back is hard so all the better for slicing people in half or veggies, your choice. I hope that made sense/ helped :)
    btw did I mention I heat katatanas? LOL

  • At 19/1/06 07:01, Blogger Sam said…

    heat katatanas?
    You'll have to explain that one to me, Clare.

  • At 21/1/06 03:56, Blogger eat stuff said…

    It was a stupid mistype....
    It was supposed to be I heart katanas (samurai swords).... oops!

  • At 21/1/06 10:07, Blogger Sam said…

    Clare - I would still have been none the wiser so thank you for explaining!



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