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Aug. 13, 2021, 10:45 a.m. EDT

The ‘stunning’ $89 kitchen knife that Iron Chef judge and Food Network host Judy Joo swears by

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By Brienne Walsh

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The difference between using a good knife and a not-so-good one is akin to “breaking carrots versus mechanically separating them,” says Tyler Kord, owner of No. 7 restaurant in Brooklyn, which was named one of Bon Appetit’s top new restaurants in America in 2009 . Indeed, knives are so important to excellent cooking that many professional chefs bring their own knives to work with them. So we asked celebrated chefs to share the knives they love.

Shun Classic Chef Knife, starting at $144.95 on Amazon , recommended by Donatella Arpaia, owner of Prova Pizzabar and a regular judge on Iron Chef America

“Finding the perfect knife is like finding the perfect relationship — it needs to feel comfortable,” notes Arpaia . Her pick is the Shun Classic Chef Knife, made from steel infused with extra carbon, cobalt, tungsten, vanadium and chromium to increase strength and durability. The knife, whose handle is made from ebony PakkaWood infused with resin to boost water resistance, has a D-shaped grip to make it inclusive for both left- and right- handed users.  LEARN MORE: Shun Classic Chef Knife, starting at $144.95 on Amazon

Victorinox Swiss Army 10-1/4″ Serrated Bread Knife with Fibrox Handle, starting at $32.11 on Amazon, recommended by Scott Conant, judge on Chopped

While it’s great to have a knife that can chop through vegetables and protein with ease, it’s also nice to have a knife that can be used for cutting breads, tomatoes and meats. For this, Conant recommends the Victorinox Swiss Army 10-1/4” Serrated Bread Knife with a Fibrox Handle. Featuring a non-slip, ergonomic handle, can also be used for spreading icing on cakes or cupcakes. “It’s great for everyday use,” Conant , author of “Peace, Love, and Pasta: Simple and Elegant Recipes from a Chef’s Home Kitchen” says. LEARN MORE: Victorinox Swiss Army 10-1/4″ Serrated Bread Knife with Fibrox Handle, starting at $32.11 on Amazon

Suisin Inox Gyuto, starting at $123.50 on Amazon , recommended by Tyler Kord, owner of No. 7 restaurant in Brooklyn

The Suisin Inox Gyuto is the primary knife that Kord uses. Made from a blend of Japanese AUS-8 base steel, the knife has a two-toned wood handle. Kord , who is also the author of “Dynamite Chicken” and “A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches,” loves that the steel blade is super thin and can cut through almost anything. But he also appreciates that the knife doesn’t need to be sharpened often. LEARN MORE: Suisin Inox Gyuto, starting at $123.50 on Amazon

Kunihira Sairyu VG10 Damascus Nakiri Japanese Knife, starting at $89 on Jappany.com , recommended by Judy Joo, host of the Food Network’s Korean Food Made Simple and frequent judge on Iron Chef America

Technically, the Kunihira Sairyu VG10 Damascus Nakiri Japanese knife is meant for cutting vegetables, but Joo uses hers for cutting everything. Featuring a double-edged stainless-steel blade with a blue wood veneer handle, the nakiri knife has such a sharp blade that “you really just need the weight of the knife to slice through things,” Joo says. Along with making chopping easy and fun, Joo likes the aesthetics of the blade. “I find it stunning to look at,” she says. LEARN MORE: Kunihira Sairyu VG10 Damascus Nakiri Japanese Knife 165mm Blue Pakka wood Handle

Boldric White Corian 9-Inch Chef’s Knife, $225 on Boldric.com , recommended by Michael Schulson, CEO and founder of Schulson Collective, a collection of restaurants based in Philadelphia

Schulson appreciates how beautiful the Boldric White Corian 9-inch chef’s knife is. “People ask me about it every time I use it,” Schulson says. He also loves that it’s easy to keep sharp and lasts a lifetime. Made from stainless steel with a corian-and-brass handle, the knife has a thin blade that can cut through anything. Use it if you want to impress dinner guests with your beautiful knife — and knife skills, of course. LEARN MORE: Boldric White Corian 9-Inch Chef’s Knife, $225 on Boldric.com

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