OK, we covered the very (very) basics of knives in our first post. But professional chefs take knives to a whole ‘nother level. Here’s a New Yorker piece about a chef who got a custom-made knife case from Louis Vuitton. (On a side note, who knew there was such a thing as a trunk that unfolds into a shower?? Very French indeed.)
How Top Chefs Fly with Their Knives
Hereâ€™s a travel story that will send you back: Some years ago, Eric Ripert, the executive chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, was returning to New York from Washington, D.C., where heâ€™d cooked for a charity event. He put his carry-on bag through the airport security scanner, and an alarm started beeping. â€œOh,â€ Ripert recalled thinking. â€œMy knives.â€ In his bag was a collection of knives that heâ€™d used at the benefitâ€”paring knives, and long fish knives that resemble machetes. Ripert tried to explain; the guards looked at him suspiciously. Fortunately, he was travelling with another chef, Jean-Louis Palladin, who produced a copy of the Washington Post with a photograph of the chefs at the benefit. â€œWe all laughed, and that was it,â€ he said.
This was, obviously, before September 11, 2001. Now, Ripert said, he wouldnâ€™t dare bring his knives in his carry-on. But he still has to travel. â€œChefs donâ€™t share their knives,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s part of the ABC of being a chef.â€ He usually folds them between layers of clothes and packs them in his suitcase. Ripert explained all this one day last fall in the Louis Vuitton store on East Fifty-seventh Street, where heâ€™d come to work out the details for a custom-made knife suitcase. Louis Vuitton has a history of making special-order trunks: there was a trunk that transforms into a shower, and an iPod trunk commissioned by Karl Lagerfeld; a British lord had a trunk made for his special rubber ducky. Not long ago, Ripert said, heâ€™d been summoned to the Vuitton store for a birthday party that Alicia Keys was throwing for her future husband, the hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz. Sheâ€™d bought him a â€œfantastically magicalâ€ trunk that unfolds into a bed. Ripert cooked dinner for the guests in the store, on a rented stove, and then Ferraris ferried everyone to an after-party at the Guggenheim.