I was asked about knives recently via a Facebook email… ceramic v. stainless, etc. and shape/size… What’s best for various raw food prep.
I always tell people that, to me, the most important tool in a raw food kitchen is a great knife. There is so much chopping to be done that not only do you want it easy to do, but you want it to be fun. I still get a kick out of using my fancy knives every single time I grab one, and I’ve had them for years.
To put it simply, ceramic knives are terrific for lettuce, herbs, and softer items (especially great for helping reduce oxidation in items like apples, leafy greens, etc). Keep in mind that ceramic knives are usually more expensive, and they’re for softer items because they are very delicate and can break easily (be sure you don’t ever drop one). Ceramic knives come in various sizes. Extreme caution is used with them because 1) they’re so fragile and 2) they are mega-ass sharp! :) In fact, the rule is that ceramic knives rarely, if ever, need sharpening. If / When the day comes for that, you send it to the company to sharpen it for you. I use my ceramic knife daily.
Chef knives vary by comfort on what the person wants with respect to length and weight, and can be used for greens, vegetables, fruit, etc – hard or soft in texture. My favorite chef knife is my MAC knife because it’s light in my hand, which means I can chop for extended periods of time without my hand tiring. I use my MAC knife daily.
Some chefs use paring knives for cutting small things. I have a paring size ceramic knife, but honestly, I don’t use it often.
It’s important to always keep your knives very sharp! I use this sharpener for my MAC knife. It is believed that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp knife, because it’s more likely to slip from the food your cutting and result in cutting you. Ouch!
Last, but not least, it’s smart to have a cleaver for opening coconuts. See a video of me demonstrating how I open a young Thai coconut here.