Do you think there's value in taking a knife-skills class? I'm not a chef or anything, but I sometimes wonder if I could be more fancy or efficient in the kitchen.
Knife skills is the most valuable cooking class you can take. Here's the thing: Just about everything you need to know to be a good cook, from making stocks and sauces to sous-viding musk ox eyelids, you can learn from reading cookbooks and paying close attention when you eat out.
But knife skills are best learned hands on, with a pro standing nearby; they're also one of the most critical (and frequently overlooked) foundations of being a great home cook. A good class will teach you how to choose, sharpen, hold and use a knife properly; it'll make you a better, faster, more confident and, frankly, ravishingly sexy cook overnight.
They're cheap, too: Most culinary schools and better cookbook sellers offer them for under $100; Toronto's The Cookbook Store offers two-hour sessions with chef Martin Kouprie for just $15. But the best part? No more unsightly spurting dinner-party wounds or blood in your mashed potatoes. If that isn't "value," I just don't know what is.
Chris Nuttall-Smith is a food writer and restaurant columnist. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail email@example.com.