When I was 15, looking for an occupation that would go along with my interest. Back in high school, I was preparing for Undergraduate Program, I wanted to find something that would include mastering artistic skills and math with a sprinkle of science. I was interested in several things, but any of those could hardly provide a steady source of income or be diverse enough.
One morning during breakfast, my mom passed me a magazine. It had stories about professional chefs from different countries. She said, "Our family has many chefs — my grand-grandmother, grandmother, I used to be a cook in the kitchen too. Maybe read it. What if you find it interesting?" I read a few quite good stories about these chefs' lives, their competitions, and efforts to perfect their art, how they grew and became outstanding chefs. Fully committed men and women, experts of the highest level. This moment was the turning point for me. I decided to become one of them.
It was a turning point in my career. I learned the lesson and bought my first knife set that I never let anyone touch. Knife sharpening becomes something that I did on a bi-weekly basis. I started learning my knives from heel to the tip.
In total, I spent seven years in the kitchen. I worked in many restaurants in Russia and the United States. I graduated as one of the best students in the kitchen and had time to take a few first places in competitions. I learned the USSR, Italian, Greek, French, and American cuisines throughout my kitchen career. Had a chance to work with an incredible crew at a restaurant, which later earned us a Michelin star in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as Sous Chef, Expo, Line-cook, Prep-cook, Butcher, Sauté cook, and a server.
Every chef must have a good set of well-sharpened knives. Knives can tell a lot about the owner. A cook can do nothing if their knives are dull, no matter how skilled they are. I believe that a knife sharpening shop should be in every small and big city.
I was combining my third and fourth years in college with cooking at a restaurant. Of course, I didn't have any sharpening skills at the time. When I had to get my dull knives sharpened the first time, I did not look for a knife sharpening service near me. I knew the one who could help me better than anyone else — luckily, it was my father.
He explained the basic theory and introduced me to the broad field of sharpening mastery. He has been doing it for years back home and enjoys it every time he still does it! Every 5-6 months, he takes his stones out, sits in the kitchen, and meditates on sharpening all knives in the house.
A few months later, I happened to be working at a steak house while attending my college classes as much as possible. I should say it was a tough place. Long work hours and lack of rest made the situation even worse. The guy who took care of the knives was not providing a professional sharpening service. They were dull even after he returned them to us! Problems came pretty fast. Let me tell you, never try cutting a frozen salmon with a dull knife. It might slip off the fish or get stuck in it. It is what happened to me! The knife stuck in the fish's spine during cutting, and my hand slipped onto the knife's blade. One of the reasons why it happened is because frozen fish gets slimy during defrosting. That day I had to take a detour to the nearest hospital to get my fingers stitched. It took me about six months to stretch stitched tendons and skin. So, when I say dull knives are more dangerous than sharp ones, I speak from experience.
And these many years, I have been regularly sharpening my kitchen tools, perfecting this art try after try. Back in October 2017 I established Mr. Sharp to let other people be safer using their cutlery equipment.
My name is Vladimir, and this is my story.