I am very lucky to have personal relationships with our suppliers and blacksmiths. I try to get to Japan twice a year for personal visits and to strengthen relationships.
In June we are getting a very important visitor. Shibata san the President of Masakage Knives (www.masakageknives.com). I'm a great knife sharpener, but he's Wayne Gretzky of sharpening. Probably the best in Japan. No joke. And he's a good mate.
I'll be dragging him around Alberta. On June 3 he will be sharpening knives at the Calgary shop 2-4pm. The nest day (June 4) we will be in Edmonton sharpening knives 1-3pm. It's amazing how sharp he can make a knife, but also so beautiful and your knife stays sharp for soooo long.
He's sent me a list of all the stuff he wants to eat here. He knows because he comes every year and knows all of the awesomeness that Canadian cuisine can offer. His list is: Roasted chicken at my house (it's a big deal because you can't buy a whole chicken in Japan), pizza, hotdog BBQ, maple fudge, pancakes with maple syrup, Hawkins Cheezies and spaghetti with meatballs. All the best stuff. My list of eats when I go to Japan is just as funny I bet.
Shibata san will also be launching a new line of knives at our shops. The name is Kotetsu, taken from the name of a famous ship with a distinctive shape that mimics the angular shape of these knives. The specs: R2 Stainless powder steel, hand hammered, American cherry wood handle. I have a prototype Kotetsu 210mm kirisuke and it is the sharpest knife I've ever had. It did make me take extra care when I first got it and my wife still won't touch it. I gave Paul McGreevy, Executive Chef of Craft Beer Market in Calgary the other prototype to test (and never returned it, the jerk) but he did say it scared him as well. This is a crazy line of knives. We're super excited. You will be able to find this line soon at our Kelowna Knifewear.
Chef and Founder of Knifewear