Editorial note: Chef Brian Dunsmoor is no longer at Ladies Gunboat Society. He is now at Hatchet Hall in Culver City.
A chef’s knife is a chef’s most important tool. So it’s no wonder that a chef spends a lot of time, and thought when deciding upon what type of knife to use in his or her kitchen.
At Ladies’ Gunboat Society at Flores, Chef Brian Dunsmoor uses a custom made 10 1/2″ gyuto from Bloodroot Blades made in Athens, Georgia by David Van Wyk and Luke Snyder. Bloodroot Blade’s knives are all handcrafted and use recycled materials. The materials, size, shape and story all factored into Chef Dunsmoor’s criteria when he selected his knife
All the materials used in Brian’s chef knife were salvaged from Georgia and South Carolina where Chef Dunsmoor grew up, went to school and starting working in kitchens. The double beveled carbon steel blade was made from a carbon steel band saw that was found in a broken down barn in North Georgia. The bolster and rivets were made out of salvaged brass from a ship-wreck in South Carolina. The western styled spalted pecan wood handle was shaped out of a piece of a pecan tree that was chopped down in Greensboro GA. The custom leather sheath was hand-made in Bishop GA.
Due to the sourcing of materials, custom fabrication, and backlog of orders, typically it takes around two years to get a knife from Bloodroot Blades. But Brian lucked out. Bloodroot Blades just happened to have a left-handed blade in the exact dimensions Chef Dunsmoor wanted. All they had to do was build it out with the materials Brian was looking for.
Chef Dunsmoor uses hard rubber Japanese cutting boards to work on. He also sharpens all of his own knives with a 1000/6000 grit stone from Japanese Knife Imports. If heavily used, his Bloodroot Blade chef knife holds it edge for around two days
As of the end of August, 2014, he has had his current knife for approximately two months. His previous chef knife was a 300mm carbon steel gyuto from Masamoto. Other knives he has his eye on include an Iberico ham style knife for hand-slicing aged country ham also made by Bloodroot Blades as well as a curved boning knife and cleaver.
In addition to his chef knife, Chef Dunsmoor also currently uses a number of different styles of knives in his kitchen including a 300mm carbon steel sujihiki from Masamoto, a French picnic paring knife by Opinel, a nine inch Dexter meat cleaver, a Japanese style boning knife, and a “dropped head, wide mouthed” fish breaking knife from Masahiro.
“A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen.” – Masaharu Morimoto
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