Sunday, January 23, 2011

My New Piece

For way too long I have used a cheesy cutting board. I really only have one, and so have become very smart in my mise en place for each meal. I know I have to wash it after lunch and before dinner when I am at home, and that has actually made me more motivated to do the dishes when I finish a meal, and to plan out my cuts accordingly. My whole philosophy at home is to not have anything I don't need in my kitchen, and while I have wanted a really nice cutting board for years, I don't really need one nor do I have the space to store one. Not to mention they are spendy. "Butcher" style blocks can be very expensive especially in the sizes I have been thinking about.

A few weeks back I came across a prep table with a wooden block top. The kind that a pastry chef would usually use. While I didn't have an exact usage (my kitchen at home is way to small for something that size) it was to good of a deal to pass up. My Executive chef at work (my direct boss) is quite an amazing woodworker. I have a pepper mill that he hand made at home, and have gifted a few cutting boards that he helped me make to a few different people. I told him about the table and he decided that its best usage was a cutting board for my house. We loaded it into his truck and he told me he needed a month or so until he would be able to tackle it.

Yesterday I was gifted this magnificent piece. He cut and turned the slats in the existing prep table, gluing. clamping and sanding all the way through. It measures a beastly 29.5" across, 19.5" width, and 3.25" high. At around 40# it is an amazing piece of wood and craftsmanship.

I need to get a few more coatings of food grade oil on to it, and keep it elevated with some cut corks to keep air circulated under it. I will most likely use my existing cutting board to cut raw proteins, as the new one will not fit in my sink to wash, let alone my dishwasher. Other than that it is game on to prep and separate on my permanent new counter sized board. Cutting boards like this can be ridiculous expensive if you can find them, and are often made of cheap wood with shoddy techniques. This one is not. When it gets worn or stained it can simply be sanded down and refinished. With a little bit of proper care it will last years and years. I wish you all could see a knife go to town on it. Just enough feeling and give coupled with the perfect amount of feedback. It is no wonder that wood is the go to fabric for cutting boards in high end households everywhere. I hope one day my children will still be using it.

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