Chef Essentials: Knife Roll

One of the first skills aspiring chefs need to learn and master is knife skills. Knife skills are all-important when working in a professional kitchen and can take your art of cooking to a greater level. To do proper knife work, you need to be have a professional set of tools. A chef without his/her knife roll is like a business person without their briefcase.

These are the essential tools for any well-equipped chef:

#1: Chef’s Knife

The chef’s knife is one of the most versatile knives in the knife roll. It can be used for nearly almost any type of food, from chopping vegetables for service to slicing fruit for pastries. The large blade of the chef’s knife allows for balanced cutting, which helps in cutting ingredients into uniform sizes and even cooking.

Steal: Victorinox Fibrox Straight Edge Chef's Knife, 8-Inch
Splurge: Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Cook's Knife

#2: Paring Knife

For more precise knife work, a paring knife is essential. It is known to be the smaller form of the chef’s knife, ranging from 2.5 inches to 4 inches in length. It can be used for various tasks, such as mincing small food items like shallots and garlic to segmenting oranges for plating.

Steal: Victorinox Swiss Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife, Spear Tip
Splurge: Wusthof Classic 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife

#3: Boning Knife

A boning knife is a must for a chef that handles poultry, meat or fish on daily basis. The narrow, long blade allows for easy and precise removal of bones during prep. When choosing a boning knife, flexibility is key; it can be either flexible or stiff. A more flexible boning knife allows for better control, while a stiffer blade is extra handy for thicker cuts of meat.

Steal: Victorinox 6-Inch Flex Boning Knife with Fibrox Handle
Splurge: Wusthof Classic 6-Inch Flexible Boning Knife

#4: Serrated Knife

The go-to knife for a culinary professional that works with pastries is the serrated knife. It is also known as a bread knife, dentated, sawtooth or toothed blade. The jagged blade is ideal for gliding through delicate goods, with hard exteriors but soft interiors, without crushing and ruining them.

Steal: OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Bread Knife
Splurge: Wusthof Classic 10-Inch Bread Knife

#5: Santoku Knife

The santoku knife and the chef’s knife are pretty similar in that they are all-around workhorses in the kitchen. However, a santoku knife is better designed for rougher cuts and scooping ingredients into bowls. It is especially useful when preparing large volumes of food. What makes a Santoku knife special is the Granton edge; the unique pattern allows for easy slicing of sticky foods.

Steal: OXO Good Grips Professional 6-1/2-Inch Santoku Knife
Splurge: Wusthof 4183-7 Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife, Hollow Edge

#6: Knife Sharpener

Remember, a dull knife is a dangerous knife, and a sharp knife is a safe knife. To ensure a chef’s safety, a knife sharpener needs to be in their knife kit. There are several types of knife sharpeners out there: grinding stone, sharpening steel rod and electric. Most chefs prefer the sharpening steel rod-style knife sharpeners since they can be easily stored in their roll up. 

Steal: Winware 12" Stainless Steel Sharpening Steel
Splurge: Wusthof 10-Inch Sharpening Steel

#7: Roll Up Knife Bag

A chef’s knives are precious (and expensive!) investment pieces. They need to be cleaned properly and placed in a roll up knife bag. The bag makes it easy for chefs to transport their knives to and from work.

Steal: Messermeister 5-Pocket Padded Knife Roll, Black
Splurge: The Ultimate Edge 2001-12BN 12-Piece Knife Roll, Black

Watch and learn basic knife techniques of cutting, chopping and slicing from Chef Jacques Pépin:

A Look Back at 2015


What a ride in 2015! We accomplished so much last year at Harri–let's take a look back at our greatest achievements.

Our Harri community is only getting bigger and better. We nearly doubled our member count since January 2014, and it continues to grow each and every day. Our expansive and diverse talent pool is almost 170K strong!

Not only has our membership grown, companies are getting on board too. We have over 3000 employers on Harri, which is a 200% increase.

In 2015, we also launched our Harri mobile app. Job seekers can now easily connect with employers and peers, and apply to jobs with just a swipe on the go. We are continuing to improve our app, so stay tuned for more features and tools to come.

2015 was great, but 2016 will be even better! Be sure to look out for what we have in store.




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Economic Considerations of Eliminating Tips (Infographic)



Is the U.S. restaurant tipping model on its way out? Amid concerns over whether compensation for back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house employees is fair and how the push for raising minimum wage will impact cost-cutting measures, the tip reform movement is stirring up controversy. Earlier this month, Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, made waves in the industry when he called tipping a “broken system” and announced that his restaurants would phase out tipping by January. The pros and cons of this consideration have impact from the board room to the dining room, and servers, cooks, owners and customers have a stake.

But what about the economic impact? Reporting tips for tax purposes is one of the most complex requirements for restaurants and their employees. Here is a look at the potential effects of eliminating tipping:

Owners Adjust for Higher Wages, Lose the Tip Tax Credit

Federal law allows restaurants to pay servers $2.13 per hour with the server’s tips expected to meet or exceed federal minimum wage requirements. Some states — like New York which will have a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers in 2016 —require a higher minimum wage. Additionally, there is a federal income tax credit (IRC 45B) that the restaurant can take for all tips reported by the server in excess of $5.15 per hour. This gives the restaurant an incentive for encouraging their employees to report all their tips. In a non-tipping environment, restaurants would have to pay higher wages and higher employment taxes, but would have a larger deduction for the increased wages and payroll taxes.

The federal FICA tip credit has been a significant benefit for a number of restaurants over the years. Restaurants that are considering changing to a no-tipping policy may be giving up a substantial tax benefit, and need to take that into account when setting menu prices or additional service charges to help finance the increase in non-tipped wages.

Some fine dining establishments who have eliminated tipping have added a service, hospitality or administrative charge, while others have raised menu prices to compensate. It's important to note that service charges do not constitute tips for the purposes of the federal FICA tip credit.

Employees gain predictability, but not guaranteed higher earnings

Servers are required by law to report all tips, but the IRS has suggested that as much as 40 percent of restaurant tips are not reported. If this is true, many employees are paying less income and employment tax than they should in a tipped environment. In a non-tipped establishment, employees receive wages which may or may not be as much as they earn in a tipping situation. Ideally, the non-tipped wage would create more predictability in employees’ income, eliminating the uncertainty associated with fluctuating tips from shift to shift. However, some will do better and some worse under a no-tipping model. Bonuses may be necessary to retain servers.

Calculation: Let’s take a look at a simple example of how the FICA tip tax credit works.

It remains to be seen whether the tip elimination trend will be a mere crest or a tidal wave of change in the restaurant industry. It is clear, however, that the business impact could be substantial, and restaurants would need to adapt practices accordingly. Even if restaurants and employees can thrive on a no-tipping model, how will customers react? Stay tuned to our blog in the weeks ahead as we explore the potential implications for players throughout the industry.

(via Fast Casual)