Obsessive Compulsive Knife Skills…

Friends and family tell me that it’s really, really hard for them to buy me a birthday present. I find that odd, as I appreciate most things, and food is such a broad and deep category of items (not to mention kitchens, cookbooks, etc.)… but then again, since I am so food obsessed, I do have a lot of food related doodads. Some friends go in themes… they bring me salt from the furthest reaches of the planet, and thus we almost always have 15-20+ varieties of salt in the pantry… while others just bring the most outrageous spice they can find. Most don’t risk cookbooks anymore, as the shelves have a collection nearing 500 I think, while I troll second hand bookshops for old issues of food magazines at bargain prices. In the end, a good meal, enjoyed at home and with friends/family, is always a great choice…

But you get a glimpse into how others perceive you when some good friends’ two teenage kids apparently spotted this chopping board recently and exclaimed, “That’s so Tito JB!” Hahaha. I have to admit I was once very OC about some things in the kitchen, but my operating style has gotten a lot more relaxed lately. My knife skills have always been pretty appalling, particularly because I never attended a single cooking class, so while I might have known the difference between a medium dice and a fine brunoise, I didn’t REALLY know the exact difference. With this chopping board for the precise cook, I now know what a technically correct julienne or small dice really looks like…

I practiced with a carrot for a few minutes and realize now more than ever, that I definitely have lousy knife skills. :) At any rate, if I were to prepare a dinner for someone like myself, I have the board to guide me closer to perfection! Thank you A&L for the wonderfully thoughtful birthday present!

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41 Responses

  1. Literally fell off my chair laughing when the pictures on this post came up (I’m an engineer, we find these things really funny :p)

    You may return the protractor and caliper to the Teen now

  2. When I saw the board, I went, what the heck is a brunoise. If your knife skills are appalling, what would you call mine? When I’m done with stuff, everything can be described as ‘tinadtad.’ But what a unique birthday present!

  3. Now I’m curious to know if even our chefs are this O.C. when it comes to their knife skills. :)

  4. I can’t help but to giggle reading that post. I think anyone who wants to join the Gordon Ramsey show-the master chef should get one of those chopping board because every episode, each contestant were asked to chop a perfect onion or apple :))

  5. woooh! and i thought my mom was OC when she told me to cut tomatoes differently if they were to be used for guisa (rough chop in large pieces), for salads (slice either across or in big wedges) or for sinigang ( smaller wedges). have fun practicing, MM!

  6. Is this wooden chopping board available here in the Philippines? One of the food bloggers I follow also uses it. This would be a great present for myself haha…

  7. i was watching Bobby Chinn and he is scolding his staff as he wants a fine brunoise type of cut when they gave him a diced bell peppers….

  8. what a cool gift! I would love to be given something like that haha, but with the way I cook (usually in a rush because of 2 kids, various books, several food blogs ahem!, vying for attention) it would just be on display. but still, it is seriously OC, and something pictures in cookbooks can never hope to teach properly!

  9. They must have this in La Girolle because I could almost swear that the beets/carrots were “brunoise’d” to exactly the same size.

    Or the chef could be as OC as MM :)

  10. will give you knife from one of the stores at the Tsukiji market you can’t get enough really…

  11. googled brunoise– I’ve been doing it many times!–I thought julienne was fancy enough… :-)

    so brunoise is diced julienne..

  12. Do you sharpen your own knives or do you send them out to be professionally sharpened? Is there a service in Manila that sharpens knives competently, especially Japanese ones?

  13. I love this MM! I know it’s a gift but would you have an idea where it’s sold here in Manila? Thank you!

  14. lee, HAHAHA. How true indeed. With a vinegar bath thrown in as well. WG and tohers asking… not sure if this is available in Manila, but it is Made in China… so it shouldn’t be THAT hard to find… :)

  15. This is the OCD Cutting Board by Fred and Friends, makers of fun and witty gadgets for the home and kitchen. I’d find a lot of Fred and Friends stuff in HongKong (at the Ocean Terminal, if I remember right, in that sosyal supermarket near the Pylones and Royce shops. And, the last time I was in Manila, I found some in a little shop in Rockwell near the Apple store (I think it’s on the 3rd floor). I hope that store is still there and that they carry this item. I love Fred and Friends!

  16. i love that chopping board! ‘hunt-mode ON’ … the miss-en-plus is always done for me. all that preparing, chopping, slicing, dicing … somebody else does that (and with their own knives — mine are under lock and key). so when it’s time to cook in someone else’s kitchen, i have to do all that. just last month, in my aunt’s kitchen in bangkok, i was asked to cook and it involved a lot of slicing and dicing. i was able to complete the task but in my head, or so i thought, i was screaming, “EMELY!– HIWAIN KO DAW ITO?!?” … emely is the pang miss-en-plus in our kitchen here in manila. my aunt was laughing and translating to her thai relatives what i was screaming– hahaha!

  17. ha ha ha…love that board…my two kids who studied to be chefs would practise those cuts and there would be lots of carrots and turnips cut that way as it was part of a subject…I dont like cutting things so whenI cook and my son preps for me…I ask him to dice or julienne etc…learned this when I had some exposure at an Inflight Kitchen….i would love that OC board…hahaha…

  18. I was smiling as I’m reading this posts MM bec. on the back of my mind whenever I’m in the cooking mood I just cut haphazardly even If I have company coming…always in a hurry but I think if you do it w/ love its still Ok no? hee hee hee…I have’nt seen that here . ^_^

  19. When I interned at 21 Federal on Nantucket a million years ago, the chef would come around and do random brunoise tests…seeing this sent shivers up my spine :-) To this day, I can hear his voice saying “You call that a brunoise??????”

  20. SO COOL! I doubt I will ever be able to follow the size of brunoise. The way I cut carrots.. just pathetic. this board might be helpful heehee

  21. Hi! I’m a regular lurker here at Market Manila. My brother and I sell a little bit of Fred and Friends stuff at our site, aeromanila.com (sorry for the plug MM! Feel free to delete if too shameless!). We don’t have the chopping board but we have the other stuff like Matryoshka measuring cups, salt and pepper shakers and the Face Plates for finicky kids. Thanks!

  22. That’s really cool! But won’t those lines fade? I guess they’re just for training. Im not OCD but I find food that is cut perfectly more appetizing. By the way, do you know a place where I can buy a cast iron stovetop grill? I mean the real big one that fits two stove top… I just got to have one! :-)) Belated happy birth day!!!

  23. I sharpen knives as a hobby. Obsessed with kitchen knives. Have a growing collection of japanese knives as it is. and japanese sharpening stones as well.

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