"chop," i just found out, is a bad word. better words are "slice," "dice," "carve." as a writing teacher, i know this, that specificity is key. last saturday e and a and i attended a beginning level knife skills class at ICE. three hours long, and taught with dynamic old-school efficiency by norman weinstein, the class teaches its students, first and foremost, not to chop. the loud crash of a knife to a cutting board does not occur when the knife is handled properly. nor does the chef get a sore arm or shoulder. the blade glides effortlessly.
we learned to hold our knives properly, how to dice onions, slice carrots, core tomatoes, slice bagels (not fingers), mince herbs, chiffonade basil, and "use the steel." i learned that i've been doing pretty much everything wrong, and i am excited and determined to get better through practice. there's still knife skills 2 and 3 to take (in 3 you learn how to make cool garnishes), and i am definitely tempted.
$85 for a jam-packed 3 hours. institute for culinary education, formerly peter kump's cooking school.