Hugh Acheson

Hugh Acheson applauds Micah Fields' knife skills.

on Jan 2, 2013


The Battle of the Redwoods happened on Last Chance Kitchen, and CJ was left standing in a chicken breast battle. The Bart Knight is gone, but not forgotten. CJ is kickin’ ass and taking names. I still feel bad for his lower back though. There is no table at the right height for that chef. 

Good morning, Seattle. Everyone is still riled up from roller derby fun and tree bark wars. 

Sheldon welcomes us with morning ritual. Some people drink Dew wearing shades (Josh), some people rub strange white lotion all over their hairless bodies (Stefan), and some people sharpen knives (Sheldon). This ritual is what separates, as Sheldon tells us, “good chefs from great chefs.” He then talks about how he is a small pygmy warrior who likes to battle. Sir Spam-A-Lot from Lahaina is back in the house. 

Skillset challenges are always awesome. In my tenure on Masters, we had the silly senses challenge which took its place, but I nailed that. Just saying. I do love watching people succeed at brunoise, or totally fail at something that should be commonplace, like breaking down a chicken or making a basic stock. Those bright lights and cameras can make even the most prolific chef wince, and it comes down to being calm and, well, carrying on. 

So the Quickfire has Bob Kramer in the house with his heavyweight knives. Bob can make a mean knife and has been a leader in the new artisan knife movement, which has made many beard-sporting, selvedge apron-wearing dudes in flannel shirts very happy. Now you can buy stunning blades made by hand from metalsmiths near you, provided that you have about $600 to $4000 to part with and really want to whack some ropes to pieces. I have never been that enamored with spending huge sums on knives and find myself with a collection of random Japanese knives that work fine for me. That doesn’t mean I don’t get excited when I look at those fancy Black Cherry Burl wood handles, the hand-hammered steel, and the razor sharp blades, but I also have a mortgage to pay and little mouths to feed. Padma says the knives cost $500 an inch. I am ordering a one-inch long knife for myself for my next birthday. It’s not how long it is, but rather how you use it. I will make tiny food that will bring you to tears of joy.