News & Reviews

Reviews of An Edge in the Kitchen and notice of classes, book signings and other events.

12/16/08 Slate names An Edge in the Kitchen one of the Best Books of 2008

The online magazine has named An Edge in the Kitchen one of the Best Books of 2008. Sara Dickerman, who does most of their food related writing, said, in part,

It’s hard to deny the lyric beauty of this year’s superchef monographs from Thomas Keller, Grant Achatz, and Heston Blumenthal. But I crave pragmatic advice in the kitchen and so recommend An Edge in the Kitchen, by Chad Ward. Ward’s knife guide is brash, bossy, and full of good counsel.

9/10/08 Chicago Tribune

Critic Bill Daley reviewed An Edge in the Kitchen along with Norman Weinstein’s “Mastering Knife Skills,” with compliments for both (and Norman’s book is excellent). I particularly appreciated  this bit:

“An Edge in the Kitchen,” whose subtitle is “The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives,” has the confident and almost sassy voice of its author, Chad Ward. He’s a writer and cook who offers an online knife sharpening class on Ward is passionate; he knows his stuff and wants you to know it too.

7/19/08 Roots and Grubs

Seattle food writer Matthew Amster-Burton has posted a very kind review of An Edge in the Kitchen on his blog, Roots and Grubs. I like Matthew’s writing a lot, and his shoestring fries were the inspiration for me to start experimenting with my own french fry style, which ended up in the Knife Skills Workout section of my book. Thanks, Matthew!

7/17/08 CBS Early Show

Faithful viewers do doubt will have noticed that my segment on the CBS Early Show was bumped in favor of the Emmy nominations. Not to worry! We taped the spot. Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez were great, and we covered a couple of fun tips for dicing an onion and cutting a pepper. I’ll keep everyone posted when the segment will air.

6/25/08 Tampa Tribune: “Eat Their Words” by Jeff Houck

“An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives,” by Chad Ward (William Morrow, $34.95)

This year has already seen the publishing of several good knife books. Add Ward’s to the list. (We’ve already shown Norman Weinstein’s “Mastering Knife Skills” an inordinate amount of love.) Ward, a North Carolina-based writer and online instructor at, has crafted a book that is instructional and deep – there’s more info on carbon than you’ll ever need – as well as highly readable. Be sure to read the handy and hilarious Mick Jagger trick to chicken deboning on page 31.

6/17/08 Michael Ruhlman’s Books Worth Reading and Using

Chad Ward, a writer based in North Carolina, has written a handsome volume on knives and everything you might want to know about them, and about using them: An Edge in the Kitchen: How to buy them, keep them razor sharp and use them like a pro. It’s not only filled with good info put together with a good design, the writing is lively as well (“The knives found in most commercial and home kitchens are like supermarket tomatoes–designed more for sturdiness than quality.”).

6/2/08 Starred Review in Publisher’s Weekly

An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives
Chad Ward. Morrow, $34.95 (240p) ISBN 9780061188480
Though humans have been using knives for about two and a half million years, you’ll be hard pressed to find as succinct and complete a collection of wisdom on the topic as this masterful volume from cook and writer Ward. He covers nearly everything, from construction and general knife care to proper storage and sharpening, giving cooks all the information they need. Detailed instructions on how to use the most common knives are bolstered with photos that thoroughly illustrate key techniques like dicing, chiffonade and julienne, as well as the lost art of cutting up a whole chicken. Though enthusiastic about his subject, Ward maintains a refreshing level of sanity throughout, reminding readers that they really only need three knives—a chef knife, a paring knife and a bread knife—to accomplish the vast majority of tasks. Better yet, Ward offers recommendations for budgets under $100, as well as reliable sources for custom-made kitchen knives (which “can be had for about the same price as you’d pay for the more pedestrian stuff”). Those looking for in-depth descriptions of every knife imaginable and/or detailed butchery instructions will not find it here, but those interested in upgrading or maintaining a reliable set of knives will find this book as indispensable as the tools themselves. (June)

First Review is In! The good folks at OnlyKnives have posted a glowing review of An Edge in the Kitchen.

Overall, the book is a great read. Chad’s got a breezy writing style and a sharp sense of humor. I doubt we’ll see a sequel or that they’ll turn it into a movie, but it’s quite entertaining nonetheless.

If you want to learn about knives, as any serious cook really should, I can recommend no better way than to check out this book. <Click quote to read more>

June 20 – 22: East Coast Kitchen Knife Gathering for the members of and I’ll be signing books and master sharpener Dave Martell is offering an advanced class on Sunday the 22nd. If you would like to attend and/or order a book for signing at the event, please contact Warren Prince, UnConundrum, the host of the event, through the linked Yahoo site or

May 30 – June 1: Blade Show in Atlanta. I’m not speaking, but I’ll be there meeting & greeting. If you are an industry rep. I will have some preview copies of the book available. If you need to find me at the show, check with my good friends at Becks Cutlery, table 24-A.

Press Coverage: March 26, 2008 “Knives” section of the (Raleigh) News & Observer’s Andrea Weigl’s ongoing series on outfitting your kitchen. She did a very nice job with the opening piece on knives and pots and pans at various price and quality levels. The N&O’s food section has improved dramatically since she became Food Editor. It’s a treat to watch the section grow.

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