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Raymond Blanc by Analon 5 Knife Block

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1 Review

Brand: Georg Jensen / Product Type: Knife Block Set

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      07.02.2011 12:36
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      An excellent set of knives.

      We received a knife block with knives as an engagement present, we have now been married over 20 years and the knives had seen better days so I decided it was time to buy a new set. I had looked around for a while but I just couldn't find a set of knives that I liked, I particularly disliked all of the ones with metal handles as I didn't like the feel of them to hold. Upon visiting my nearest John Lewis store I saw the Raymond Blanc by Anolon set and took a closer look.

      ---The Block---

      The knives are presented in a wooden block which is nicely designed so that they sit at an ideal angle to grasp whilst in the middle of cooking duties. The top of the wood is 21cm high and it is10cm wide. I am not sure what the wood is but it appears to be some sort of hardwood and is a warm, natural colour, I think it looks a bit orange in the photograph which is not how it actually appears. The block is well finished and there are no rough edges, it is also quite heavy and stable. The slots for each of the knives are made to the correct size so the knives slide in easily but do not leave cut marks all over the wood. On the base of the block are four rubber feet that are screwed on with countersunk screws so there is no risk of scratching your worktops. The block has a silver coloured badge on the front with the words Raymond Blanc by Anolon, unfortunately the badge on ours is really badly applied and is on a distinct angle which looks a bit cheap. I did think about taking it back but I phoned the store and they had no more in stock although they would order one for me but it was also not very convenient to return to the store so I decided to put up with it and I don't really notice it now.

      ---The Knives---

      The block contains five different knives. They each have steel blades which the manufacturers claim are ice hardened fully forged carbon steel which is supposed to give increased durability and control. The steel continues through the handles (tang) which are black and ergonomically designed.

      Chef's Knife: This is probably the knife I use least often. The blade is 20cm long with the complete knife being34cm long. The blade has a depth of 4.5cm. I find this knife very large to use but it is extremely sharp and does an excellent job of cutting up tough vegetables like butternut squash and also large pieces of raw meat. It is quite heavy but it does feel well balanced and easy to use.

      Carving Knife: This knife also has a 20cm blade but it is a much slimmer knife as it is only 3cm deep, with slight indentations along the blade to help it slide through the meat without sticking. The brilliantly designed handle makes this very easy to use whilst carving chicken and meat joints.

      Bread Knife: Another 20cm bladed knife. The serrated edge works really well to slice all kinds of bread without slipping or squashing the loaf.

      Utility Knife: Everyone always has a favourite cooking knife and this one is now mine. The 15cm blade housed within the 28cm knife is the perfect size for all those everyday cooking jobs. It tackles meat, fish, vegetables, herbs and fruit with ease and has certainly speeded up food preparation for me with its extremely sharp blade.

      Paring Knife: This little knife has a 9cm blade. This is handy for those smaller jobs such as deseeding chillies. I don't tend to use it for any sort of peeling as I prefer a peeler; I tend to cut myself if I use a knife.

      ---In Use---

      The black handles of these knives are excellently designed. They sit comfortably and easily in the hand and never feel slippery even when wet. I have been very pleased with their ease of use and also the effectiveness of the blades. Each knife feels solid and there is no hint of bending of the blades or handles in use. I have been using them for over 6 months now and they haven't been sharpened yet but they are still extremely sharp. I have managed to cut myself quite badly twice by forgetting that they are so much better than my old knives and being stupid enough to hold things in my hand whilst cutting rather than putting the item on a board.

      When we purchased them we did enquire if they were dishwasher safe. We were assured that they were but we soon noticed that the handles were starting to take on a slightly greyish tinge so we stopped putting them in the dishwasher and now simply wash them by hand. Having checked the John Lewis website they don't say anything about dishwasher suitability so we may have been wrongly advised. This is probably the only negative thing I can say about an excellent product.

      These knives cost £100 for the set which was more than I had been hoping to pay but I liked the knives so much I decided that they were an investment and if they last for 20 years I will be very happy. John Lewis no longer sell knives via the internet as they feel they cannot regulate the sales so they are only able to be purchased in store. It was the selection of knives, their appearance and the attractive block which drew me to the product rather than the celebrity name. Having said that we only live a couple of miles from Le Manoir, Raymond Blancs restaurant which my son was lucky enough to visit recently on a school project so I am hoping now that he has met the famous chef he might feel more inclined to have a go at cooking himself as he feels we have the "right" knives!

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