How to Use Your Blades of Glory (podcast)

Jul 8th, 2017 | 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.


  1. You must be 18 years old or older to enter
  2. Tell us why you want to attend a Knife Skills 101 class at Central Market Cooking School
  3. Live in the Austin, Texas Metro Area and be available to attend the class offered
  4. Winners will be drawn using
  5. Enter using a valid email address, as we will use that address to contact you if you win
  6. Entries accepted through 6 p.m. CT Monday July 10, 2017
  7. Winners will be notified Monday July 10, and if your name is drawn, you must respond to the winner’s email within 24 hours or forfeit your prize
  8. Must not have won anything from Field & Feast in the past three months
  9. There is no cash value and substitutions

NOTE: This show is a rebroadcast, but the giveaway is current. Only comments dated July 2017 will be included in the random drawing.

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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.

  17. The more I cook for myself, family, and friends the more I like the process of really learning the kitchen fundamentals that can make me a stronger, more well-rounded, cook. I feel like I’ve bypassed some of the knife basics. Among other things, I’d like to learn how to properly sharpen my kitchen knives with a whetstone. Thanks!

  18. As someone kept out of the kitchen because I wasn’t a girl, but with the boyish attraction to knives, I’d appreciate learning how to slice paper-thin tomato slices while cackling at the incredibly sharp knife in hand.

    No, that didn’t sound weird At All. 🙂

  19. I’d love to learn how to sharpen my knives (they stay horribly dull) and then learn how to use them without cutting all or parts of my fingers off.

  20. Actually, I’d like to send my son to the Knife Skills Class. He’s a budding chef with a sincere appreciation of properly sharpened knives. We do have too many in our kitchen, though! He’d love nothing more than to learn which ones we can get rid of! He’s pretty good with a whetstone but could certainly use some pointers from an expert like Cindy! Thank you for providing information on KLRU!

  21. Even if I don’t win a position in the class, I appreciate the excitement I felt when you were describing how to sharpen a knife. I was going through a box of stuff in storage & ran across a message referring to when I was in High School & wanted to open a diner and how 20 years later, it was the same. Now I’m hoping to retire in another country & periodically think of opening a co-op diner but realize I have a lot of skills to acquire. What a fabulous way to start the dream..

  22. Hi! Well, I would like to attend the knife skills as a sort of gift to my wonderful wife. She has taken me from Spaghettios to spanakopita, and I’d like to learn more about knife skills to prepare for our 10th anniversary (and beyond!). It’s my turn to give back a little culinary love, and this would be a great start. Thanks for your food wisdom so far!

  23. I grew up in an intentional community aka a commune. We grew organic vegetables (before organic was a thing). We humanely harvested our cows and turkeys. I grew up with a deep respect for these wonderful sources of food, but I’ve never taken a cooking class. So, to me, another aspect of respect for food is to properly prepare it. Use knives correctly is a sign of respect.

  24. I know some of the theories about keeping knives sharpened but I feel like I don’t do very well at applying them in my kitchen. I know the importance of sharp knives but often find I’m sawing on a tomato!

  25. Just like any other tool I understand proper maintenance is key to a knife’s efficiency and safety. I’d love a chance to learn how to properly take care of kitchen knives since mine can’t be in good shape if I keep finding myself wrestling with certain veggies.