Cooking School: Knife Skills 101


with Sean Knox, Co-op Kitchen Manager

If you're new to cooking or wanting to deepen your culinary understanding, we're here to help. In this edition of Cooking School, Sean will take you through four basic knife skill techniques so you can dice, mince, julienne and chop like the pros. As always, be sure to use a sharp knife and protect your fingers as you go.

"Most people think diced means to cut something into smallish bits. But something that is truly diced is cubed in shape and uniform in size. Generally, this term pertains to things cut 1/2-inch or smaller, and can also be referred to as a 'brunoise'."

"The only trick to mincing is to use the largest chef knife you have because it gives you the best range of motion. Rest the tip of your knife on the board, and rock the knife up and down in a fan shape. Re-pile what you are mincing and bring the knife over it in that fan pattern until you are happy with the mince."

"The secret for getting the best julienne is to cut your vegetable into a square or rectangular shape, taking care to get rid of any rounded edges. This is how you get that authentic julienne shape, and you can put the cut-off scraps to good use in a stock or other recipe."

"Chop is a pretty generic term, and honestly it kind of means free-for-all, or whatever size the recipe calls for. In general, I think of chopping as the next step up from dicing size-wise, with pieces usually being larger than 1/2-inch."