Knowledge Base > Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

Dan Marek - Ask Me Anything (Office Hours)

This event was on Tuesday, February 06, 2024 at 11:00 am Pacific, 2:00 pm Eastern

Join Chef Dan Marek in his virtual office as he welcomes all of your questions. This event was created for you and we encourage you to Ask Anything – from cooking techniques to cours… Read More.



What is your favorite brand of chefs knife & honing tool?

— Beth Kaverman


We get this question quite often about Chef knives and I, I think that the best answer for this is it's gonna be different for everyone. Um, what I recommend doing is going into a store that has a wide variety of different chef knives and putting them physically in your hand, see how it feels in your hand holding it. Do a couple rocks on a cutting board or something like that as well too, if you're able to, um, to be able to see what works best for you. Now that being said, uh, there are also huge varieties of different kinds of prices on chef knives. So you can go anywhere from like a $20 chef knife to a $500 chef knife, and those 500 chef, $500 chef knives, you know, are I, I wouldn't say that they're any better than, you know, a much lower priced one. Um, they're just usually made of different, uh, materials or they have very unique things about them. Now, uh, at my, in my own knife block at home, uh, I pretty much have it all filled with wsav knives. So I have a couple Wsav classic chef knives that I put in there as well. I have a ve uh, uh, like a wsav, um, what is it, the Vegetable Chef knife, which has the holes in it. So things fall off of it as well too. But on, uh, when I'm cooking professionally and I'm out either catering on something like that, I use shun, uh, chef knives now. Um, that's, you know, what's the difference kind of in those? Um, the shun that I use is actually called a Ken Onion, um, which is discontinued now, but one of the things I love about it is on the top of the blade. So if you're holding the blade like this on the very top of it, when you wrap your fingers around, there's a little thing right here that protects your finger from getting your chef callous on it, which is wonderful. I love that. And so when I'm doing catering gigs and stuff like that, I'm chopping, you know, hundreds of onions, um, in, you know, if I'm using like a Woff classic, I'm getting that kind of, uh, blister on the inside of my finger no matter, you know, how long I've been cooking. That always happens on the Woff Classics. Um, but on some other varieties I know, I think it's Mercer also makes another one like that that has that little kind of bump on the side on the top of it, which you can wrap your finger around and it protects your finger, which I love that aspect of that. Uh, Chen Shun, Ken Onion, um, you know, I think it's a eight inch chef knife. Uh, you can still find those out there, but they're really, really expensive now because they've been discontinued for like five years. Um, but true answer is, uh, kind of Wof is kind of the one that I have at home most of the time. Um, but I do use a wide variety of different, um, knives from, um, you know, from the Mercer brands, from the, like the, the icons, all kinds of other knife brands out there. But really the best advice I have for you is to see what feels best in your hand and always keep it sharp using the honing tool, which is the second, second part of this question On a honing tool, I don't have a specific brand I like, what I do is I usually go to a restaurant supply store and I look for a diamond tipped honing tool, and I usually don't like the round ones as much. I usually like the ones that are a little oblong, um, because you can get a better feel of where you're at on it. So you see a lot of chefs, you know, when they're, um, honing their knife and they're like going back and forth like this, which is something I personally do as well. But because my honing tool is a little oblong, it's easier for me to feel my knife and, um, when I'm going back and forth on that to be able to find the angle that I'm looking for on that. Um, so I actually love that. So two things is one, look for an oblong one, and the second thing is looking for diamond tipped because it actually keeps sharper longer. 'cause um, you know, being a chef is, or you know, a, a cook as long as I have, um, it's, uh, honing tools wear out so you can wear out the end of them. So I've gone through many, many of them. So I think a diamond tipped and I love the oblong ones. Um, and no brand specific at all, at all on those. If you get those two things, you're gonna be pretty set.
Dan Marek

Dan Marek

Director of Plant-Based Culinary & Dev