My Last Supper photographer Melanie Dunea peeks into the minds of working chefs and uncovers their most prized possessions.
Food & Wine
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Interview and Photos by Melanie Dunea / CPi / My Last Supper
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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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