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Bernal Cutlery
Cut your chopping time in half. Image courtesy of Eric Zepeda

It?s true that Traci Des Jardins, Chris Cosentino and Dennis Lee are exceptionally well-trained chefs. But they can also attribute their speedy slicing and dicing in part to Bernal Cutlery.

And now you can too.

The top-notch shop is where a slew of SF?s acclaimed cooks buy their weapons of mass cutting. Owner and knife aficionado Josh Donald recently relocated his store to the Mission, where he carries an even greater variety of Japanese knives (which he prefers for their tougher steel and increased control) as well as vintage ones and other assorted chopping devices.

Donald hosts regular classes ($75 to $85) to impart his encyclopedic knowledge of cutlery. After watching him deftly demonstrate his preferred Japanese whetstone grinding technique, we quickly realized how challenging this is to DIY. (Our fear of slicing off a digit was accompanied by violent arm cramping from the repetitive movement.)

Luckily, we still picked up a few valuable pointers: You should sharpen your knives around every six months. And you always want to dry a knife thoroughly so as not to ruin the steel.

While we may not be doing any sharpening ourselves, we?ll definitely be purchasing our knives from Bernal Cutlery and dropping them off to be sharpened ($1.50 per inch, $4 minimum) by the master himself.

593 Guerrero St.; 415-902-6531 or

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