JUDGED BY MATTHIAS VAN REIMERSDAHL
When I look at new knives at trade fairs, in the showrooms of factories or at the homes of colleagues, I often feel the desire to combine the one knife that I like exceptionally well with the other that impresses by virtue of its functionality – to turn it into my favorite knife!
If you talk to the developers, the argument often prevails that they want to present themselves as pleasing as possible to those who are interested, they don’t want to offend any customers. That’s how compromises are born. And then you imagine you’ve seen them all and can’t be surprised by anything, and all of a sudden you’re facing a product that seems to combine everything you’ve been longing for.
The knife fits extremely comfortable in your hand – no, it nestles into the curve of your palm as if it wants to make itself comfortable there like a purring kitten. It is so pleasantly light because of the very high-alloy steel it is made of, then heat-treated and hand-finished in the most elaborate steps with the Solingen thin-ground finish. It is not too big and not too small. It seems someone has been looking around in my mind’s eye.
For five generations now, Windmühlenmesser Manufaktur in Solingen has been family-run, constantly combining the old with the new and continually asking what could be done even better.
Many years of exchange with Japanese master smiths, traveling around the world, eating locally and preparing the same, led the managing director Giselheid Herder-Scholz to the realization that the diversity of fish in our lakes, rivers and seas has also resulted in the creation of an incredible variety of fish knives. “How can I combine the knowledge of our Solingen master grinders and knife makers with the expertise of the different types of fish and the particularities of their preparation and still remain manageable in our range?” she asked herself. In 2016, the head of the manufactory met with one of the most renowned fish chefs in Europe, Edwin Vinke – owner of “De kromme Watergang” in Hoofdplaat, Zeeland – and all she did was listen! And she was watching his every move.
Vinke’s restaurant, awarded two stars in Michelin, named best fish restaurant in Holland in 2017, is famous for its sea fish and flatfish creations. By means of this special dialogue between two full professionals, a micro-series of knives exclusively for use in fish cuisine has been created. Sea knives. Three different filleting knives and one universal knife. Point.
Reduced to the maximum.
The blades were provided with handle parts made of beautiful walnut woods for the emotional material fetishist and privateers like me or for use in the catering trade with POM handles that do justice to the professional. The blades are captivating in their fineness, yet resilient due to the extremely functional thin grind and refining hardening process. Hard but flexible, the sharpness long lasting and easy to regrind.Yes, I have enough knives! I am aware of that. But the filleting knife in 17 cm and the utility knife, I can well imagine on my magnetic bar at home…
Well, Christmas is also to take place this year.