The Knife Rack
Kyocera introduces the Innovation Series ceramic cutlery line featuring Z212, a new black advanced ceramic material optimized for cutlery. It stays sharp twice as long as Kyocera’s original Z206 ceramic blades, which are known for staying sharp several times longer than steel.
Other features include an ergonomically designed soft textured handle that fits comfortably in hand and provides an easy controlled grip for safe handling, coupled with an upper angled handle to blade interface which allows for easier cutting on a cutting board.
Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knives are ideal for cutting boneless meats, boneless fish, fruits and vegetables. The benefits that come with Kyocera Advanced Ceramic knives are:
• Ultra-Sharp – will stay sharp up to 10 times longer than conventional steel blades
• Purity – won’t brown foods or transfer metallic taste, rust-proof, germ resistant
• Lightweight – comfortably ergonomic and perfectly balanced
• Easy to Clean – does not absorb food elements, just a quick sponge, rinse and wipe
• High Quality – Proprietary ceramic blades are made in Japan, lifetime warranty
The Innovation collection includes a 4.5-Inch Utility Knife, 5-Inch Slicing Knife, 5.5-Inch Santoku Knife, 6-Inch Santoku Knife and a 7-Inch Chef’s Knife. The Kyocera Innovation Series is manufactured in Japan for superior quality.
Kyocera Innovation Series Knives have a suggested retail price range of $49.95 to $89.95 depending on size. They are available for immediate shipment.
Kyocera, the original ceramic knife manufacturer, and a world-leading producer of advanced ceramic products, offers a wide range of ceramic knives, kitchen tools, ceramic-coated cookware, and accessories.
By Lorrie Baumann
Expect a wide variety of practical items to augment the working kitchen of the everyday cook at this year’s International Home + Housewares Show. The show will feature the same four expos as it has in the recent past, with Dine + Design moved into the North Hall. Tom Mirabile, the International Housewares Association’s trend expert and the Senior Vice President, Global Trend & Design at Lifetime Brands, will once again offer a keynote speech in which he will explore the latest findings on American consumers, while Leatrice Eiseman, IHA’s color expert and the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, will speak about this year’s consumer color preferences. A banquet of industry insights will be spread each day in the Innovation Theater, and the line-up of celebrity chefs scheduled to appear includes Geoffrey Zakarian, Tyler Florence, Stephanie Izard, Todd English and Rick Bayless, among others.
More than 2,100 exhibitors will be in the exhibit hall to show off this year’s innovations for today’s home cooks. Housewares manufacturers are responding to a culture in which consumers have more choices than ever before about how they’ll obtain and prepare their daily food, and home cooks range from those who cook almost every day to those who use their kitchen appliances only rarely. Americans spend about 45 minutes a day shopping for their food, about an hour a day preparing their meals and cleaning up after them, and just over an hour a day eating and drinking, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Americans are increasingly likely to buy their food already prepared and bring it home to eat it or to buy their dinners from a meal kit delivery service that gives them the opportunity to cook their meals without devoting much time or effort to either shopping or ingredient preparation. Despite that, the vast majority of Americans still say that cooking at home is their preferred way to prepare their meals, and more men are in the kitchen than ever before.
Especially for Millennial-generation consumers whose enthusiasm about cooking at home may outrun their skills, Zyliss has spent two years developing its new Control knife set, which is designed to perform well no matter how the cook holds it. A high-quality German steel blade, contoured handle, an accommodating bolster, a handle with antimicrobial protection and dishwasher safety all combine to work well for inexperienced home cooks. “We’re not asking consumers to learn to use this knife. We’re meeting them where they are,” said Associate Marketing Manager Bridget Cundelan. “Whatever way you want to hold it, it fits…. You can use the pinch grip, but you can also hold it the way you do it, and it’s comfortable. You don’t feel like you’re going to cut yourself.” Control is offered in open stock and a range of sets, with 16 pieces in a knife block retailing for $179.99.
The knife block offers sheathing inserts in one size to fit any of the slots and to fit any of the knives. They’re removable to go into the dishwasher, and they feature the same 99.9 percent effective antimicrobial action as the knife handles. A small block with five slots retails for $39.99, which the 17-slot knife block retails for $69.99.
Emile Henry is debuting the La Marmite Stockpot, a new soup pot for cooking and serving that’s made in France from burgundy clay. It’s based on a dutch oven design, but it’s taller and a little sleeker, so it’ll work well with an immersion blender for pureeing soups, and it goes on the stovetop as well as in the oven. The upturned rim is designed to avoid spills during cooking or drips from a ladle, and the snug-fitting lid helps retain heat at the table. It’s dishwasher safe. Capacity is 4.25 quarts, and it’s available in Burgundy and Charcoal. The La Marmite Stockpot will retail for $130, and it’ll be available to ship at the time of the show.
T-fal is coming out with an extra-wide peeler with an extra-sharp micro-etched blade that’s great for peeling large or hard vegetables like a butternut squash or for shaving curls of hard cheese off the block. It will retail for $10.99.
Microplane is introducing several new products at this year’s IH+HS, including the Ultimate Bar Tool, which like one of those all-purpose tools that hangs from a handyman’s belt and does a bit of everything, depending on what he needs to do. It has a peeler, a muddler, a cocktail stirrer, a knife blade, a channel knife for making long twists of citrus zest, a zester and even a scorer to help with the peeling of tough-rinded citrus. With a comfortable soft-grip handle in black with white accents, the Ultimate Bar Tool will be available in March and will retail for about $14.95.
The new 2-in-1 Core & Peel from Microplane features a serrated stainless steel coring blade and two sharpened edges to separate and extract an apple or pear’s core easily. There’s also a straight peeler on the bottom of the handle. The soft-grip handle is bright red with white accents. The 2-in-1 Core & Peel ships in March and will retail for $12.95.
There’s also a 3-in-1 Twist & Zest from Microplane, which eliminates the need for multiple gadgets to squeeze fresh juice, as well as zest, peel and create garnish twists from oranges, lemons, limes and other citrus fruit. A clear protective cap is included for the twist tool for safety when not used and during storage. Twist & Zest will retail for $12.95 and has a green handle with white accents.
Kuhn Rikon has a nifty little Click ‘n Curl Spiralizer that comes as a set of a julienne peeler and a straight-edge peeler and two cones that click around the blade to guide vegetables into the blade. To use it, the vegetable is fitting into the cone, and then the peeler is twisted to make vegetable noodles or ribbons. A large cone can be used for zucchini, potatoes or cucumbers, while the smaller cone is for carrots, parsnips or broccoli stalks. It will be available this summer to retail for $18.
Kuhn Rikon also has a handy Utensil Caddy that holds up to 25 cooking utensils and tools. The caddy spins to make tools easy to reach, it comes apart for easy cleaning, and silicone feet on the base help hold it steady on the counter. It’s shipping in March and will retail for $30.
Dexas is offering 15 skus in The Mix Collection of cutting boards, made of eco-friendly bamboo paired with polyboard inserts in granite and marble finishes that are friendly to blades and food-safe. The boards are designed for both prep work and the beauty of wood for food presentation. They’ll retail for $29.99.
And because people aren’t the only ones walking around in the kitchen, Dexas has come up with the MudBuster™, a gentle paw washer for the family dogs. An array of soft, gentle silicone bristles inside a tumbler gently brushes mud from the dog’s paws into warm water in the tumbler. The device comes in three sizes, it’s easy to use, and it’s already a hit at pet product shows, so it’s worth taking a look at in booth #S138 at IH+HS.
Finally, the e-PEBO siphon coffeemaker from Bodum, which has an electrically powered base that heats water added to the bowl of a carafe. Grounds are added into the bowl of a glass funnel, and as the water is heated, it’s forced as steam up the stem of the funnel to the coffee grounds. Then when the coffee reaches 201 degrees Fahrenheit, a vacuum formed in the pot draws it back down to stay warm until it’s served. The entire cycle takes 12 minutes, and since the coffee is actually brewed with steam rather than boiling water, additional oils are extracted from the beans to make a coffee with a very smooth flavor, and the aromas circulate through the coffee as it brews for an extra dimension of flavor. “It’s a seamless way of making coffee, and it’s very, very convenient,” said Daniel Kvist, who does marketing and sales for Bodum.
By Micah Cheek
A good knife is widely regarded as the most important part of any kitchen. Educating customers on the techniques that keep a knife in working order can help new knife owners avoid costly repairs and premature wear. According to Bob Tate, former student of cutlery legend Bob Kramer and current owner of Seattle Knife Sharpening, a number of factors contribute to wear on the blade and how often it needs to be sharpened. “When you ask what people aren’t doing right — they’re not honing, they’re not using a good cutting board, they’re using bad technique, [and] they’re chopping through food that’s much too hard for the knife,” says Tate.
The first factor is what the cook is cutting regularly. “If you’re using your knife to cut parsnips and cantaloupes and things like that, your knives are going to last longer than if you’re cutting kabocha squash, for instance,” says Tate. “What I tell people is if you eat a lot of winter squash, use one large knife for it, and I can put a stronger edge on it with a stronger bevel at the edge.”
Cutting boards come in different levels of hardness, and some can have adverse effects on the blade. Tate recommends a quality maple Boos board or a good plastic board that’s made of soft plastic, not a hard acrylic. “There are companies that make extremely hard cutting boards that I don’t recommend,” he said. “A cutting board made out of countertop material is not the kind of cutting board you want.”
Different chopping and slicing movements can cause a surprising amount of wear on a knife. “If you’ve got a good rocking motion where the knife is always in contact with the board’s surface, that’s a good technique. But a lot of people will just whack at stuff – the harder you are like that, the more you’re going to wear away the edge of the knife,” says Tate. “If you’re really pushing 3 or 4 inches each stroke, you’re really wearing your blade out. A lot of people, you wouldn’t believe it. It’s insane the amount of [effort] people put into stuff that’s just wasted.”
If getting knives sharpened is like going to the dentist, honing knives is like brushing your teeth: a daily regimen to keep things working between checkups. “I ask them if they have a steel. If they say they have one, I ask them how they use it. If they’re doing it wrong, I’ll teach them,” says Tate. “A lot of times in knife skills classes they’ll have you hold the knife at a 45 degree angle to the steel. But the way I [hone] knives, it’s like a 15 degree angle. I encourage people to keep the spine about a quarter inch above the steel. I don’t use degrees because it’s easier for people to understand inches.”
Even a well-honed knife will eventually need sharpening. For sharpening at home, Tate recommends going with an old-fashioned approach. “I think for home sharpening, the best way to sharpen at home is with a set of good quality water stones and all the things that come with that. As far as gadgets that sit on counter and you drag your knife through, I strongly discourage those. What happens is, there are little metal and ceramic things in there that are set at a certain angle that will just scrape the side of the bevel of the knife. It’ll chew up the edge and it’ll be extremely rough,” says Tate. “You wind up losing more material than you should at the edge.” Countertop grinders can do even more damage to knives that have bolsters, a part of the blade that widens out to meet the edges of the handle. “With German knives that have bolsters, you pull it through a number of times; you wind up hollowing out the edge of the knife. You can see light coming through [when the blade is resting on a flat surface] because of the way it’s chewing out there. I spend all day fixing that; it’s one of the main things I do.”
Keeping a knife in use for decades comes down to a few basic principles. “As far as home knife care, there’s some dos and don’ts,” says Tate. “The main thing is, never put your knife in the dishwasher. Most of it is just common sense stuff; don’t throw a knife in a drawer without a cover.” While a more expensive knife might require more care to keep it in working condition, a customer’s primary goal should be comfort. “The main thing for me, you need to have a knife that you’re comfortable with. I encourage people to try them out first. Even if your budget is such that you can afford a $300 knife, it might not feel good in your hand,” says Tate. “When you buy a knife, it’s an investment; it’s something you’re going to be having for 20 years, so you always want to get something you’re comfortable with.”
Hammer Stahl is celebrating the holidays with two special promotions – one on select German Steel chef knives and the other on professional-quality fry pans – designed to drive consumers to specialty gourmet retailers during the holiday gift-giving season.
Hammer Stahl, a company which proudly manufactures professional quality multi-clad stainless steel cookware in Clarksville, Tennessee, and offers a line of German steel cutlery, is offering its two piece fry pan collection, including the 8.5-inch and 10.5-inch fry pans; as well as the 5.5-inch Santoku knife and brand new 6-inch chef knife at special pricing until December 31, 2016. National ads supporting the promotions appear in Food & Wine magazine. Consumers are being directed to www.hammerstahl.com/madeinusa for the pans and www.hammerstahl.com/shoplocal for the knives and to locate a retailer in their area.
Cook Up Holiday Treats or Everyday Meals
The Hammer Stahl fry pan is a terrific go-to pan for all meals from breakfast to dinner, and everything in-between. The 8.5-inch and 10.5-inch fry pans are ideal for pan frying, sauté, searing and browning. The flat bottom and curved sides make tossing and flipping food easy. According to industry surveys, fry pans, sauté pans and skillets account for one-third of cookware purchases, and Hammer Stahl is helping to meet this demand with this aggressive promotion on multi-clad stainless steel cookware. The promotion gives retailers a tool to help increase sales, drive traffic and maintain a healthy margin.
“Hammer Stahl is proud that our stainless steel multi-clad cookware is manufactured in Clarksville, Tennessee,” said Bobby Griggs, Vice President, Hammer Stahl. “These fry pans heat evenly and are very responsive to temperature. They both have a hollow, ergonomic handle and a lifetime warranty. Consumers love them!”
While the best quality cookware usually comes with a premium price tag, Hammer Stahl is offering this two piece set consisting of the 8.5-inch and 10.5- inch fry pans at the special retail price of $99 (regularly $199.00) for a limited time.
Professional Quality Cutlery for the Home Cook
Hammer Stahl cutlery has seen aggressive growth in the retail sector over the past 18 months. Retail stores consistently report that Hammer Stahl cutlery is coveted by professional and home chefs alike for its razor sharp cutting edge and its forged German steel. “We have consistently seen increased demand for midsized Santoku and chef knives. The 5.5-inch Santoku and 6-inch chef knife is the perfect size for everyday use and is not intimidating to the beginning cook. A shorter blade gives you more control over the knife, and is excellent for most basic tasks like slicing vegetables or chopping fresh herbs,” said Griggs. During the last holiday season, the 5.5-inch Santoku knife was a big success for retailers nationwide, which prompted Hammer Stahl to introduce the 6-inch chef knife for the 2016 holiday gift season.
The knives are made in the tradition of the great German knife makers, from top-quality high-carbon stainless steel. A patented new design and a manufacturing process make the knives affordable. The knives’ handles are ergonomically designed with a comfortable grip which reduces fatigue. All Hammer Stahl knives are heirloom quality and guaranteed for life.
Hammer Stahl’s new 6-inch chef knife is being offered for $39.95 and the 5.5-inch Santoku knife for $29.95 at select gourmet retailers until December 31, 2016. For general information, visit www.hammerstahl.com.
Shun Cutlery’s Shun Kanso line offers a sleek style of cutlery aimed at drawing in a younger, hipper target audience: Millennials. “Its a departure for us,” says Scott Zahm, Director of Sales for Housewares Division at Kai USA. “It’s got a completely different look and it was the first brand series we developed where we did focus groups with our target audience. Our focus is to drive Millennials to the brand.”
It’s become popular with the younger audience because, according to Zahm, when it comes to kitchen knives, the newly available Shun Kanso line is not your parent’s Shun.
Released in 2015 exclusively through Williams-Sonoma, Shun Kanso was specifically designed to appeal to a younger demographic with its affordable price point, minimalist design and new look. The entire line is principled from the Japanese idea of simplicity — which is what Kanso means — and can be seen in the both the blade and the handle’s design. “We stripped the knife to its core elements,” says Zahm.
Blades in the Shun Kanso line are made from Japanese AUS10A steel, providing an upper-end, highly-refined, high-carbon, vanadium stainless steel cutting-edge with a finish that provides a rustic look while hiding scratches. “We call it our heritage finish,” says Zahm.
Continuing on the idea of simplicity, the handles in the Shun Kanso line are made of Tagayasan wood — also known as iron sword wood — which are dense, durable and provide a simple beauty in its cutting control. Zahm says that the hard-wood handles provide a balance and strength for both new and experienced cooks — something Millennials crave. “We are excited about Kanso because it appeals to Millennials,” he says. “After listening to [the focus groups], we knew we were on the right track.”
The right track, as Zahm calls it, actually began in 2013 when Shun released its Shun Sora line to market as the most affordable line of cutlery from the company. “We started with Sora,” says Zahm. “It has been very successful with Millennials and has brought in more of that demographic to our other lines.”
Shun Sora combines traditional Japanese aesthetics with the company’s patented Composite Blade Technology, creating a series of knives that brought a contemporary style that appealed to Millennials while influencing how the company would move forward with future lines. “We try to be spot on with our products and we want Millennials to want and use them,” says Zahm. “That’s why we started using [focus groups]. It’s a strategy we will be using with future lines.”
The success of Shun Sora influenced the company to engage the younger demographic with the release of Shun Kanso. According to Zahm, this also meant that Millennials were becoming interested in what he calls super high-end lines — like Classic or Premier. “As brand recognition grows with consumers…it grows with Millennials as well. And now, Kanso is becoming the entry point for Millennials to use and eventually consider trading up to our higher-end products.”
The brand recognition by Millennials has increased as well, according to Zahm, as the company has seen double-digit growth with demand exceeding supply at this point. “When I started six years ago, people would ask: ‘What’s a Shun?’ Now, people come up to me at trade shows and tell me how much they love Shun. It’s the brand Millennials are wanting to own.”