Buying knives is so personal, so specific and so important! I would never like to fully advise on what knives to buy, purely due to this. However, all I would say, is don’t be tempted to pay through the roof for a sexy brand. In my years of experience, with working with some seriously talented chefs and domestic cooks, most just have a motley collection that suits their use for them!
My essentials include a large chopping knife, a medium chopping knife, a small paring knife, a flexible filleting knife, a decent carving knife and fork, and a serrated bread knife. I still have a dozen or so ivory handle table knives with soft steel blades which occasionally rust but it’s nothing a brillo pad or a pan scourer can’t deal with! By building your own collection you are creating a personalised toolkit suited for your own wants and needs in the kitchen and that is something a knife collection needs to be!
One of my mother’s favourite kitchen knives had a broken handle and had a huge chunk missing from it… It bears out what I say about knives being personal!
If you are buying a knife or two, it helps to hold it and make sure it suits your hand, so pass by the shrink-wrapped ones or ordering online, get yourself into a decent shop and test a few out.
In summary, don’t be fooled by sky-high prices and think the most expensive is the best, don’t be afraid to have a mixture of a collection and be sure to hold the knife in your own hands!