Next to your own hands, a great knife is your most important kitchen tool. Twenty years ago, I spent $100 on a chef’s knife that’s still the hardest-working item in my kitchen (and it even has a name: Ken). I use it for everything from chopping vegetables to carving a roast. A good chef’s knife should feel comfortable and weighty in your hand, and you must be able to wrap your fingers around the handle. Keep it sharp, and never put it in the dishwasher or store it in a drawer (both dull the blade). Add an inexpensive paring knife and one superb bread knife, and you’ll be able to tackle any dish.
Here are three great knives to get you set up in your kitchen: