There are two kinds of people in Bend: those who own proper kitchen knives and those who don't. Those who don't often live on Pho Viet take-out, Spork's pork belly sando and frozen pizza from Trader Joe's, and can be found sawing limes with butter-knife-sharp cutlery for cocktail garnishes. Those who actually use their kitchens (microwaving doesn't count), on the other hand, know the importance of a good chef's knife: They can slice, dice, julienne or mince their CSA tomatoes with infomercial ease, and don't have to replace their crappy knives at Target every few years.
The owner of Kitchen Complements, Dianne Bernert, knows a thing or two about knives. For 29 years, she's been the proprietor of the jam-packed you-want-it-we-got-it Bend shop for all things kitchen-related. She carries two brands of knives: J. A. Henckels and Global – two of the best brands on the market, favored by home chefs and professional chefs alike. Henckels is made in Germany with a heftier handle, and a heavier feel in the hand, while Global offers sleek, light Japanese knives. You can't go wrong with either brand, so the anxiety about choosing a good knife is off the table; all you have to do is pick one that feels right to you. While price tags may seem hefty, a good knife is a worthy investment that, with proper care (read: professional sharpening now and then, NO DISHWASHER), can last you a lifetime. And if we hear you're using that $120 knife to puncture the cellophane on your Orange Chicken "dinner," we'll kick you in the nuts. Sheesh. (CG)