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Food Matters

All about fresh, flavorful food

The Minimalist Kitchen: Knives

You don't need a ton of stuff to  cook like a pro. Build this small set of high-quality knives—recommended by our favorite food writers and editors—and you'll be ready to tackle any recipe that comes your way.

Chef's Knife

Essential for chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing

To Buy: Try the reasonably priced but high-quality Mac Knife Chef Series Chef’s Knife, 7-1⁄4 inch; $60 via Amazon

Paring Knife

Necessary for peeling small fruits and veggies

To Buy: A top pick at Cook’s Illustrated, the Victorinox Swiss Army 3-1⁄4-inch Fibrox Straight Edge Paring Knife is effective and affordable; $10 via Amazon

Santoku Knife

A supersharp, lighter-weight multipurpose knife for meat, fish and veggies

To Buy: Wüsthof offers a 7-inch hollow-ground Santoku; $70 via Crate & Barrel

Carving Knife

A long knife with a strong blade for slicing meats and carving chicken and turkey

To Buy: Try the German stainless steel Zwilling Pure 8-inch Carving Knife; $67 via Zwilling

Bread Knife

Effortlessly cuts bread into neat slices

To Buy: They don’t take much abuse, so you don’t need an expensive one. Try the Dexter Russell Traditional Scalloped Bread Knife; $24 via Amazon