How to Use Your Blades of Glory (podcast)

Aug 6th, 2016 | By | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
Using the Whetstone

Using the Whetstone


Episcopal priest and author, Robert Farrar Capon is credited with the following quote:

At the root of many a woman’s failure to become a great cook lies her failure to develop a workmanlike regard for knives.

Excuse me, padre, but have you met Cindy Haenel?

Obviously not.

Cindy Haenel is a kind of knife ninja; she understands these blades of glory and how to use them, and teaches others how to sharpen their skills.

As a chef instructor at Central Market Cooking School in Austin, she knows her way around a cutting edge.

In fact, the knife skills classes she teaches at the school always have a waiting list. Always.

As more of us spend time in the kitchen honing our culinary skills, we also recognize the need to hone our cutlery skills. And that’s why Cindy’s class is so popular with home cooking enthusiasts.

Cindy teaches attendees the difference between honing and sharpening and how to do both, what knives every home cook should have, and how to use them in the safest manner possible.

You wouldn’t think someone as fun (dare I call her a “cut up?”) and friendly would have such amazingly awesome ninja knife skills–but boy howdy does she.

After one of her classes, you’ll be slicing and dicing with the best of them.

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  1. I appreciate being able to create tasty, nourishing, simple dishes that feed both body and soul.

  2. I really want to learn how to properly sharpen my knives. Thank you for the conversation and the giveaway!

  3. Entertaining in our home is always more fun when friends and family gather in the kitchen to participate in the preparing before the feasting!

  4. Cooking at home allows me to vary the ingredients to accommodate the various dietary preferences of my daughters. For Christmas afternoon, I’ll make tortilla soup and each person can choose ingredients to add to the basic recipe to follow a vegetarian, vegan, or omnivore diet.

  5. I appreciate cooking at home stuff that I can share with my fellow foodies!

  6. I enjoy cooking at home and am always looking to improve my skills in the food preparation and presentation areas.

  7. First, I love your radio show! Yet another reason to be proud of Austin. Great stuff. What I love most about cooking at home? Knowing exactly what is (and is not) in our food and taking the time to connect with it before sitting down to eat. Even better, when preparing food from our farm share (we are CSA members at Green Gate Farms in east Austin), we know exactly where it came from, have a personal relationship with those who worked so hard to grow it and the land it came from. What’s more, in these busy times and with busy lives, it is time together- to get inspired, be creative or just throw something together. And… no traffic! 😉

  8. I especially appreciate cooking at home because I try to eat healthy foods; and when I prepare them at home, I know the types and amounts of fats, sugar, sodium, etc. I have always liked cooking at home because cooking is a satisfying form of creativity, and I enjoy trying different recipes & ingredients and experimenting with ethnic foods.

  9. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes I find on Pintrest.
    It keeps dinner interesting as we try new things.

  10. Cooking at home allows me to spend quality time with those I love, learning and teaching valuable skills; and motivates me to know where my food comes from. I especially enjoy interacting with friends & de-stressing in a comfortable environment with a glass of wine and great KUT & KUTX programming.

  11. I love preparing good home cooked meals for my family. It is a symbol of my love for them.

  12. I love having my friends and family in the kitchen with me and then sharing a meal. It’s one of the places I get to explore my creative side in the preparation and presentation. And, last but not least, I also prefer knowing everything that’s in the food!

  13. I love the smile that people have after you cook them a good meal! That is my favorite part of being a home cook.

    One of the toughest things for me is working with knives. I mean, if I’m following a recipe, or helping a friend cook by chopping, the more experienced friend is always looking at me, going, “You are going to cut yourself cutting like that,” or “we’re going to be here for hours if you continue to cut that slow.” I mention all this to let you know that the knife skills class would be very, very helpful for me.

  14. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where home cooked meals were an essential part of our daily time together as a family. Eventually we all joined in and learned from those with fantastic skill. Now the holidays have inspired friendly competitions to see who can create the most delectable and creative dishes, desserts and drinks (test kitchen trial runs and all). I value the health benefits of homemade, nutrient dense, natural foods void of preservatives and empty ingredients but most of all, I value the creativity and quality conversation for which home cooking allows. Thanks Field and Feast for expanding the conversation and education.

  15. Cooking is another art form! The challenge lies in using what is fresh. Besides, it’s fun.

  16. It is so simple: I know what my family likes, I know what is in their food, I like for them to gather ’round to cook and to eat. In order to have nutritious food you have to cut up some stuff–you just can’t buy prepackaged.