The world of the at-home-chef is being forever refined thanks to our infatuation with food television and the everyman’s approach to in-home culinary eloquence. I’ll say it now to avoid any backlash later: this article is not intended for chefs. A Toronto chef will undoubtedly already know of these places to procure the most deathly sharp kitchen accouterments, and they’ll likely have a preferred place of purchase. However for the aspiring cook, or the seasoned dinner party dynamo, whether you’re looking to begin your collection or add a prized piece, here are three superb knife shops in Toronto that are worth a visit…
Tosho Knife Arts
Professional chefs and knife enthusiasts Olivia Go and Ivan Fonseca smelted their passions together in 2010 when they established Tosho Knife Arts on Markham Street (there now located on Bathurst Street). Working directly with artisan knife makers in Japan, Tosho Knife Arts sells some of the finest handmade Japanese blades in Toronto. Their expert minds can help you select the best possible knife to suit your needs, and their expert hands can help to restore the quality, character, and sharpness of your seasoned Japanese slicers. If you’re looking to get a handle on how to properly use and maintain your Japanese blades, consider taking one of their classes on basic knife skills and maintenance, or sharpening of double bevel, single bevel, straight razors, or tactical knives.
Hacher & Krain
Find yourself inside the cozy Dupont St. shop and you’ll be amazed that a space specializing in sharp objects that could kill you can be so inviting. Perhaps it’s the beautiful wood display cases or more likely the genuine attitude of owner Greg. Choosing not to specialize in one particular origin of knife, Greg is always happy to speak to the virtues of one style over the other – intended use being the operative definer. Hacher & Krain sells an array of high quality knives from the fine French to grizzly German varieties, utilitarian pieces from Finland and the artisan single bevel beauties from Japan. Though Greg doesn’t have a sharpening program in house, per se, he encourages his clientele to educate themselves on proper knife maintenance through one of his seminars. He also provides free sharpening for all knives purchased in store – service with a jovial, bearded smile.
Offering a carefully selected array of knives from around the world, the Dundas West knife shop is not to be overlooked when searching for that new blade. Perhaps the most intensive of any of the classes offered, KNIFE limits their workshops to just four people to maximize one on one time during these 2-3 hour sessions. Covering topics ranging from selection and maintenance of stones and knives, types of steel used in traditional and modern knives, edge geometry, hand pressure and position and proper bevel angles for Japanese and Western knives, these are worthy experiences for all levels of knife wielders.