My most treasured item is definitely my big, rugged metal case full of knives that I bought in Tokyo. It opens like a briefcase and on the inside are all these little slots to hold your tools: knives, hole punchers for vegetables, long-nose pliers for pulling bones out of fish, fish scalers. This is my toolbox.
These values of cooking with care, not wasting food and using homegrown ingredients have been our mantra at Hearth since day one. We stumbled upon [the sticker] somehow and it resonated with us. The same graphic designer who did posters for Wrigley's Spearmint Gum and the government after World War I created it.
You can trace the history of a chef's career by his knives. I have the knife that Tom Colicchio gave me when we got three stars at Craft. I have my sushi knife that I bought in Tokyo in 2002. I have a meat–butchering utility knife that I use to butcher only rabbits. Through the years you buy them and get them as gifts, and this is just a great timeline of my career.
I find that rabbit is an underused, underappreciated and undervalued meat. We use it here a lot. We do charcuterie with it, a pasta sauce with it and a braised rabbit dish in the colder months. And it would be my last supper!
I'm part of such an incredible group of people who are such a tight-knit family. When you think of New York City, it's just the best club and I'm very happy to be a part of the chef community in this country. It's really kind of cool. I don't think you can point to a lot of industries that have such an intimate community and I'm grateful to be a part of it.
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