Julienne? Batonette? Brunoise? I thought I had walked into a French class the night we learned knife skills in culinary class. I was excited to finally learn how to properly chop, dice and slice. After all, knife skills was one of the main reasons I signed up for culinary school!
We used potatoes and carrots to practice our various cuts. We were required to practice cuts as big as a 3/4″ Big Dice to as small as an 1/8″ Brunoise. I’m not going to lie — it was frustrating at times but when you get one that is so close to being right — it’s so exciting! I’ve included a picture of the measurements ruler, known as a Mercer ruler, that we used for vegetable cuts below. It’s a great tool full of useful information and doesn’t take up much room in your kitchen.
Of course, we learned the basics of how to hold a knife, proper motion while cutting and safety measures that go along with toting knives around the kitchen. We were taught the importance of keeping sharp knives and how to sharpen them when they become dull. It was one of my favorite class sessions throughout school and something I do use every day in the kitchen. No, I am not sitting around making julienne carrots and brunoise potatoes for my family these days but the rest of the lessons do get used almost daily.
If you are interested in cooking and do it often, I would highly recommend taking a knife skills class to learn the proper techniques. Check out your local kitchen store, culinary school or try out some classes on craftsy.com.