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November 27, 2006


Dominic Armato
It starts here.

Of course, I'm a long, long way from being the first to champion this particular cause, but it's one that's near and dear to my heart, and it's time to give the movement a name and make it official. There are people out there who desperately need our help. People like my aunt and uncle. They're wonderful folks, I love them to death and they know their way around the kitchen. But as I discovered this past Thursday, they are among the countless victims of the dreaded Problem.

The problem, of course, is that the drawers of our nation's kitchens are choked with crappy knives... old, nicked, flimsy, serrated, dull and otherwise useless cutlery that makes food preparation challenging at best and impossible at worst. Crappy knives mangle the most perfect tomatoes, turn beautiful fresh herbs into a bruised paste, hack helplessly at seemingly indestructible root vegetables, and when they slip... as they always do... send the poor souls who wield them to the hospital in droves. As such, on this twenty-seventh of November, two-thousand and six, I hereby announce the formation of H.A.C.K.

Humans Against Crappy Knives

As with any similar organization, we do not seek to shame or ridicule those who are cutlery-impaired, but rather to reach out and help with understanding and compassion through the mantra of One Good Chef's Knife. One Good Chef's Knife is the single most important piece of cookware in the kitchen, and yet is one of the most frequently overlooked. One Good Chef's Knife will easily handle 95% of even the most creative home cook's cutlery needs, and do a perfectly adequate job for the remaining 5%. You certainly can spend an obscene amount of money on One Fricking Awesome Chef's Knife, but the budget-conscious lines of some quality manufacturers (such as J.A. Henckels or Wusthof-Trident) ensure that One Good Chef's Knife can easily be found for $40 or less. One Good Chef's Knife may not be as impressive (or imposing) as the similarly priced 12 piece set of crappy knives, but it's infinitely more useful. It is from One Good Chef's Knife that all good things in the kitchen flow.

Go forth. Spread the word of H.A.C.K. The work is its own reward.


Count me in on this movement. I myself shrugged off the seeming comfort of many knives for the better situation of three knives only: paring, bread (for...bread), and an 8" F. Dick chef's (for EVERYTHING). Those and a steel are all I need. Onward, H.A.C.K!

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