Our product experts here at CHEFS Catalog are always looking for new and innovative kitchen tools, cookware, bakeware and cutlery. They look into all of the details of a product and look for those, sometimes small, features that will make a difference to you in the kitchen.
When Wüsthof introduced us to the Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) line of cutlery, we were impressed. Working together with the Le Cordon Bleu cooking academy, Wüsthof has created a set of kitchen knives possessing some key features that make a big difference in the kitchen.
Like all forged Wüsthof knives, the LCB cutlery begins with a blank of steel. The blank is then forged into the shape of the basic knife. After forging, the knife is tempered to 58 degrees Rockwell and then ground and polished. The handles and triple-riveted onto the knife, and you end up with a knife that will outlast a lifetime of use.
Download the Wüsthof Evolution of a Cook’s Knife pdf
The simple description of how the knife is made, however, does not do justice to the true innovation that is the Wüsthof Le Cordon Bleu cutlery. The individual features together make this a truly innovative knife.
One of the common complaints that I hear about knives are how heavy they can be. The LCB cutlery is designed with a thinner spine that makes the knife about 30% lighter than other forged knives. And while they might be thinner and lighter, these knives are perfectly balanced for effortless, precision cutting.
“The thin blade and finely honed tip make for a versatile, yet precise tool suitable for a diverse range of kitchen tasks,” –Chef Yann Barraud, Le Cordon Bleu London.
The special steel helps to ensure outstanding strength in this kitchen knife. The mirror finish of the blade helps to reduce drag when cutting, resulting in effortless slicing, chopping, and prep.
The bolster on the LCB knives is smaller, allowing you to use the entire blade length for cutting without a bolster getting in the way. This is especially helpful when slicing through hard root vegetables, where the bolster will sometimes get in the way of the cut.
Additionally, the bolster design makes the knife much easier to sharpen.
“The [chef’s] knife is very light; the blade is fine and has a practical shape that allows precise cuts for juliennes, brunoises, etc. Without a question, it is a knife much easier to sharpen,” –Chef Phillippe Moulin, Le Cordon Bleu Mexico
Wüsthof’s PEtec gives the knife a smoother, sharper, and more refined cutting edge over hand sharpening. Independent tests have determined that the Wüsthof PEtec edge is 20% sharper and retain their edge twice as long as regular knives.
Because I love my knives, and don’t use the LCB kitchen knives on a regular basis, I wanted to pull them out and give them a test drive: I can’t tell you how good they are, when I just know what the maker tells me. So, I gathered a selection of the knives I use the most in the kitchen in both the LCB and Classic Line: chef’s knife, slicer, utility knife, and paring knife, and took a closer look.
The thinner spine of the knife isn’t blatantly obvious.
When you look at the two knives side by side, you can see a slight narrowness on the LCB when compared to the Classic, but it isn’t dramatic.
But when I held it in my hand, I could tell a definite difference in weight. I pulled out our handy kitchen scale to see what the real difference was:
The Classic knife came in at 0.25 kg (about 9 ounces) and the LCB knife came in at 0.2 kg (about 7 ounces). Two ounces does not sound like much, but as I chopped my way through tomatoes, onions, and potatoes, I felt the difference in my hand.
Both knives are exceptional when it comes to performance; I have no complaints about either. However, the precision bolster that the LCB knives feature did allow me to use the full blade to cut. I could tell the difference as I was cutting though some butternut squash. Personally, I have a hard time cutting squash—they are my challenge in the kitchen.
The picture above is a Classic chef’s knife beginning to cut a butternut squash. When I used the Classic knife, the bolster caught at the back of the squash, and I had to pull the knife out and reposition the knife to continue cutting. I have to do it with my knives at home, too.
I repeated the process with the LCB chef’s knife. While I had to move the knife, because the precision bolster lets me use the whole edge of the knife, I was able to slide the knife back while cutting to get through the squash. I did not have to pull my knife out and readjust the cut.
When you look at the full line of the LCB cutlery, you will find the same precision bolster on each knife.
I really liked the Wüsthof Le Cordon Bleu knives. If I were looking for a new set of knives, would I consider the LCB line? Yes, I would. The innovative features of these knives made them a pleasure to use, and they solved some of the common annoyances I have in the kitchen.
If you have a smaller hand, or just want a lighter knife, you cannot beat the Wüsthof Le Cordon Bleu cutlery. It has the same exceptional performance we have all come to expect from Wüsthof knives. But the lighter weight and the precision bolster really make this knife a winner in the kitchen.
Your Turn: What features are important to you in your kitchen knives?
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