Let’s start with basics, THE knife. The French in their extravagance claim that you need about 8305 knives, each one for one particular task (peeling bananas for example). The Americans in their economy give you an array of knife sets, usually ranging from 5 to 7 knives. The “Free Knife Block Included” in bright red makes the 699.99 special look extremely appealing. The Japanese, being very minimalist, will have you with a Santoku – three blades in one. And dear readers, trust me, they come in all forms and shapes and specialities: grapefruit knife, oyster knife, trimming knife, fluting knife, sashimi bocho, usuba hocho, soft cheese knife, and surprise – hard cheese knife, ham slicer, boning knife, apparently there’s even a tomato knife. For the entire list please consult wikipedia here. But whatever your personal whims are, your knife….MUST BE SHARP. And if it isn’t, MAKE it sharp. And then KEEP it sharp. Wars weren’t won with rusted cleavers after all. Any culinary artist will tell you: there is no better feeling than the nearly-silent moment when your knife effortlessly parts the meat/produce on your cutting block, instantly followed by the feel and satisfactory thud of steel hitting the block.