Metalworker Chelsea Miller creates knives, graters and cooking tools out of old steel files originally used for shoeing horses or in mechanics’ shops.
All week, F&W is introducing artisans who inspired the outstanding summer recipes from our August issue.
Metalworker Chelsea Miller creates knives, graters and cooking tools out of old steel files originally used for shoeing horses or in mechanics’ shops, adding wooden handles sourced from her family’s farm in northeastern Vermont. Her father taught her how to work with wood and metal when she was growing up (“We were homeschooled, so we were basically his child labor,” she jokes); today, she traces her mother’s Japanese and German kitchen knives to guide her own designs. Whenever possible, she keeps the toothed side of the old files intact, giving the knives a dual purpose as graters. “I like to take discarded, ugly hunks of metal at the end of their lives and breathe life back into them,” she says. “It makes me feel very connected and very alive.” From $100; chelseamillerknives.com.
Recipe Inspiration: Tri-Tip Steak with Grilled Scallion, Ginger and Cilantro Relish
Kay Chun’s inspiration for the recipe was cutler Chelsea Miller’s knife-grater hybrid, made with reclaimed stainless steel. “It looks a little prehistoric, which made me think about a big cut of beef and a superfresh, aggressive sauce,” Kay says.
Glazed Agrodolce Ribs
Justin Chapple created this sweet and sticky recipe to reflect the aesthetic of Chelsea Miller’s handmade knives: “The knife and the ribs both have a beautiful arc and a rustic, almost primal feel,” he says. “Use the knife to cut the ribs off the rack one by one as you go, to really get your hands sticky.”