Our friends Peter and Jill Hertzmann visited us in September. This is the third or fourth time Peter's been to visit us in France. We enjoy his visits because he likes to cook, he's really good at it, and he always offers to make a meal while he's here.
Peter has become an expert on la cuisine française in recent years. He shifted to French food after spending many years focused on Asian cuisine. He says he had a food epiphany on his first trip to Paris.
Peter is a perfectionist. He insists on quality ingredients, precise measures (when called for), and the right tools for the job. He's teased us on many occasions about the sharpness of our kitchen knives, for example. As in they're not. Sharp, that is.
He notes that you cannot have a good knife technique if you don't have a good knife. And to say that Peter has written the book on knife technique is no exaggeration. His book, Knife Skills Illustrated, has recently been published, and he's done a round of interviews and talk shows (including a guest spot on Martha Stewart's show) to promote it.
He told us about the knives he uses, made by Victorinox, and that they're not fancy and not expensive, but that they are good quality knives for home use. We looked them up on the web while he was here and he showed us several options for our needs. I told him I'd think about replacing our knives in the months to come.
Well, imagine our surprise when, one day a few weeks ago, a package arrived in the mail from Peter. It was the very knife we had looked at online, along with a honer/sharpener to keep it in tip-top shape. Peter said that he's looking forward to using a sharp knife the next time he visits.
In the meantime, we are certainly enjoying it. It makes an incredible difference. Thanks, Peter!
If you haven't already, check out Peter's web site, à la carte. It's full of interesting stories and recipes.
Basse-côte de bœuf au poivre
14 hours ago