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Culinary Basic Skills--Lexington: Knife Skills

Students in the Basic Culinary Skills class can find flash cards, books, and other recommended resources about culinary terms, knife skills, meat cuts, and sauces.

Common knife cuts

A butterfly cut is used to split a piece of meat in half without completely separating it, making the resulting product look like a butterfly. This cut is often done to make the cooking process more even. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

Like it's delicate name, a chiffonade is a fine cut where the leaves of leafy vegetables or herbs are rolled together to make a cylindrical shape. The cylinder of leaves is then cut into equal widths. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

Chopping is a rough knife cut that is done quickly and when the size and shape of the food is not critical.

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

This knife cut is a dice of tomatoes, and it is to be used when cooking tomatoes. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

This knife cut involves cubing food. Chefs use diced food in soups, sauces, and side dishes. There are four types of dices.

 

  • Brunoise- a dice with the dimensions of 1/16" x 1/16" x 1/16"

  • Small dice- a dice that measures 1/4" x 1/4" x 1/4"

  • Medium dice-a dice cut measuring 1/2" x 1/2" x 1/2"

  • Large dice-a cut measuring 3/4" x 3/4" x 3/4"

 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

A julienne cut creates fine matchstick-like pieces of food that measure 1/8" x 1/8" x 1" to 2". The julienne cut is the beginning cut for a brunoise. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

To mince food one does a fine chop cut with either a chef's knife or a mezzaluna (a two-handled half-moon shaped knife). According to the author of Knife Skills for Chefs, small foods like garlic and fresh herbs are what chefs usually mince. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

An oblique cut creates larger pieces of food, which are shaped like a wedge. This cut allows more of the food's surface area to be exposed during the cooking process and makes for a different presentation. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

A paysanne cut is 1/2" square with the food being cut into 1/8" slices. The cut is similar to a dice, but the finished product is thinner. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

This knife cut is a round cut often used for foods like carrots or cucumbers. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

A more advanced cut is the tourne, in which the food product is cut into a shape similar to a football. The cut measures 2" long by 3/4" wide with blunt ends. 

**The information about each of the knife cuts came from the book Knife Skills for Chefs (641.589 D273k) by Christopher Day. You may borrow this book from the Sullivan-Lexington library.

Books & DVDs at the Library

Helpful websites

Knife Skills videos

This video features Chef Marcus Samuelsson segmenting an orange.