Improving Cutting Skills

Dear Sir:
  I am a beginner cook. When I go for a job, they want me to have good knife skills. On a recent interview where I showed my doing julienne, my julienne of ginger was poor. It was slightly larger than fine julienne because I cut a slightly larger section of the small piece of ginger. Even though I thought the interviewer was jerking me off by giving me such a small piece of ginger, I would like to know how I can improve my knife skills to a level of professionalism that won’t impede me from being hired. I bought 1 book by Norman Weinstein. I will try practicing some cuts he does in book. Is there anything else I can do?



I wasn’t there, so i can’t comment on the size of the sous chef’s ginger—though once you’re comfortable with a knife, you ought to be able to cut things of any size into smaller, regularly sized pieces. 

If your knife isn’t extremely sharp, get it sharpened.  From there, practice is the most important thing.   I have found that seeing the knife in motion can be very instructional, so here are a couple of video posts to get you started: how to hold the knife properly and how to dice (potatoes)

I’ll have more videos up within the next several days.  In the meantime, check out some of my text-and-picture instructions, and see if they might be helpful for you as well.

One Response to “Improving Cutting Skills”

  1. Leonard Mayer Says:

    What suggestions would you make when you dice the julienne pieces and they start to move apart? How would you hold them together? This frequently happens with me with carrots or onions. I noticed you have your ring and little finger curled back. You brush the knife against the middle finger. You use your index finger sometimes to move the slices off the knife. Your thumb is almost parallel to the little finger. To hold them together I made mistake of using my ring finger to hold the bunch of matchstick cut carrots or potatoes together and I cut my ring finger. So that is obviously a mistake. Do you curl your hand more or use your index finger to hold together the sticks of vegetables?

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