It all began in 2010. I was 15 and dreamt of my purpose in life. When I was in middle school, big ideas were boiling in my head and I absolutely didn't know which path to choose, as I was interested in a number of different channels, but dedication in any of these could hardly be a steady source of income or be diverse enough.
One morning during breakfast, my mother gave me a magazine about professional chefs from different countries. She said, "Our family has many chefs — my grandmother was one and I used to be a chef, too. Read it, maybe this is something you would be interested in."
I read a few quite interesting stories about how they started, about their competitions and efforts to perfect their art; how they grew up, and became outstanding chefs. I was very much impressed by them, fully committed men and women, experts of the highest possible level.
This moment was the turning point of my life when I decided to become one of them.
Every chef must have a good set of well-sharped knives.
They show people how every chef knows the basics. A cook can do nothing if their knives are blunt, no matter how highly they are skilled.
I was combining my high school work with cooking at different restaurants since I turned seventeen. Of course, I didn't have any sharpening skills and theory when I needed to get my dull knives sharpened the first time, I had to take care of it immediately. And I knew the one, who could help me better than anyone else — luckily it was my father.
He explained to me the basic theory, introduced me to the wide field of sharpening mastery. He was really enjoying it, every time I saw him sharpening kitchen knives at home, he has been doing it for years. He is still doing it periodically in the home kitchen, which proves its necessity in every household.
That was a whole new turn, and I was truly excited.
When I got my first knife sharpening stone, that moment was brimming with excitement — a rectangular sharpening stone with thousand and six thousand grit on each side. It was a gift from my dad.
"You should start with sharpening smaller knives, before move any further, " he said, "they are easier to control and not as hard as chef knives to sharpen."
At present, I have spent a total of seven years in the kitchen in many restaurants in Russia and the United States. I graduated from a culinary school as one of the best students. And also had time to take a few first places in competitions.
Later on, I had the honor to learn the USSR, Italian, Greek and American cuisines throughout my kitchen career. I got a chance to work with an incredible crew at a restaurant, which got a Michelin star in the state of Massachusetts. I have worked as Sous Chef, Expo, Line-cook, Prep-cook, Butcher, Roundsman, and Sauté cook.
And these many years I have been regularly sharpening my knives, perfecting this art try after try. And now I'm ready to do it for you.
My name is Vladimir, and this is my story.