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All Eyes On the Needle

Every trade has its tools. Carpenters use hammers, nails, screwdrivers, drills, and saws. Seamstresses use scissors, needles, and threads. Chefs have their knives, pots, pans, whisks, spatulas, and blenders. Often, there is a strict code of conduct surrounding a professional's most valued tools. As kids, we knew we'd get in BIG trouble if we dared to touch my mother's good sewing scissors.  Use someone else's knife in a professional kitchen, and you could soon find yourself on the wrong end of that very sharp object! 

Chef Daniel Maggipinto expressed it beautifully when he wrote"I've had many of my knives for my entire 25-year career, so they have a special place in my culinary walk. Of course, some have gotten lost and some have gotten stolen, but a chef's tools are like a knight's armor and sword... I have a knife for every kind of food preparation: paring knife, straight boning knife, flexible boning knife, bread knife, slicing knife, chef's 8-inch Japanese style knife, 10-inch chef's knife, all kinds of spatulas for fish, dessert, temperature gauges, peelers, pastry bags, piping tips, string and various other implements of food preparation. No, you can't see them or use them, they are my special tools."

That's why New York Times bestselling author and independent journalist Lisa Rogak started the blog: Behind The Knife. She noticed that during interviews with chefs, the conversation often turned to their toolboxes. Her bio explains: "They spoke of some of the tools like a lover, and told wild stories about others. In fact, she got the feeling that if they ever lost them, they'd pull out the knives and use them on themselves, or on the hapless culprit who borrowed it without asking..." (See, what did I tell you?)

Lisa quickly discovered that in addition to the standard knives and kitchen utensils one might expect, chefs often tote around some really crazy tools to help them execute their culinary pieces de resistance:  bubble wrap, dental floss, power drills, torches and more.  Recently, Lisa profiled Pascal's most beloved kitchen tool: a standard sewing needle. Read about how South 'n France became the first company to be featured in her "crazy kitchen tools" category.

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