Some foodies will always try to up their gastronomic game with complicated kitchen appliances
. But a growing desire to simplify is compelling many cooks to abandon gadgets
and invest, instead, in kitchen staples that will last a lifetime. Enter artisan bladesmiths, whose custom-made, handcrafted knives have cooks of all levels forking over their cash.
Made “by hand, for the hand, from reused and reclaimed materials,” knives crafted by Christopher Harth
for his line NYCutlery are sure to meet eco-consumers’ demands for transparent sourcing
for the blades is sourced from retired sawmill blades, and the handles’ prettily patterned, close-grain wood
comes from the buckthorn tree, an invasive species that crowds out native plants and so must be destroyed (sometimes, as in Harth’s case, with artistic consequences
). As each knife is balanced to its owner’s hand, no two are alike in fit and appearance. Harth currently sells via Green in BKLYN
, but act fast, because he plans to cease production at 1,000 knives.
In his tiny Gowanus, Brooklyn workshop
, Cut Brooklyn bladesmith Joel Bukiewicz will spend 10-12 hours crafting a single artisan knife. He uses exclusively American-made materials: high carbon steel, durable glass fabric laminate
, and an epoxy
seal. The resulting knives
feature brightly colored handles and super-thin, full-bellied blades that bear Cut Brooklyn’s swirly stamp. The workshop holds open hours
twice weekly, welcoming customers to drop in for knife-sharpening and browsing (hanging on the wall are “fresh knives for sale,” priced upwards of $250), though chefs with specific needs are invited to contact Bukiewicz for a consultation
. There’s a year-plus wait list for custom orders, so gift seekers should plan accordingly.