Loved Designs - Ken Stradling Collection
ken stradling collection

Santuko Chef’s Knife

Maker:  TOG

Ask any professional cook ‘what is your most useful piece of equipment?’ and most will reply: my chef’s knife. The late, great, Anthony Bourdain went one further and claimed: “You don’t need an entire drawer full of knives, only ONE good Japanese chef’s knife, which has the added attraction of looking really cool.”

This TOG Santuko knife, bought for me by my wife Sue, was made in Seki where Samurai swords have been made for the last 800 years. Like the swords, it is made by alternating steel with layers of antimicrobial copper – a hard central core of steel for sharpness, softer steel layers for strength. The handle, a delight to hold, is made from Kebony maple – sustainable, water-resistant and beautifully etched with a 600 year old Japanese pattern which gives a superior grip.

As I sharpen the blade I am aware that microscopic shards of steel and copper are being eroded away by my action, but then I remember wabi-sabi – a Japanese word that conveys the aesthetic appeal of something worn and shaped by age and use, the very embodiment of evanescence and acquired ‘character’.

Quite apart from its functional attributes, my TOG Santuko knife is a joy to use – perfectly balanced, the correct weight in my hand, and razor sharp.

Richard Storey