Knife Skills: Safety and Precision at Andover School Nutrition

Apple garnish on green cutting board
Apple garnish activity.

On Friday January 28th, 2022, Andover High School food service staff participated in a two-hour Knife Skills: Be A Cut Above the Rest Workshop to Go presented by Chef Tom from The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition.

This interactive, chef demo and hands-on workshop included knife safety, and proper knife use. Activities for participants to take part in gave practice to increase their skills and accuracy.

A big takeaway was the importance of knife safety, which includes proper use, washing and storage of knives. Chef Tom explained the importance of being comfortable in one’s ability to use knives, and that communication in the kitchen is essential.

Vidalina displays her flower garnish.
Photo permission granted.

Basic rules and practices of knife safety included proper knife sharpening, correct handling, using a knife only for its intended purpose, using sharp knives always, and using your hand as a guide.

When moving about the kitchen, it is safest to carry knives tip down with the blade away from the body, and verbalizing you are carrying a knife.

Chef Tom showed participants a variety of knives and their purpose for use, such as using a serrated knife to cut bread. Participants were given a walkthrough of practicing the bear-claw technique to ensure safety and achieving the desired cut.

Staff members at Andover practiced their knife skills.

Chef Tom identified knife cuts and ways to properly cut produce after it had been washed. The participants were given takeaway tips including wearing a cut resistant glove to ensure safety when cutting.

Workshops, such as Knife Skills, for school nutrition professionals can help strengthen competency and confidence in the kitchen. The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition offers a variety of in person and online options. For more information and to request a Workshop to Go at your school, please visit the Workshops to Go page on the JSI website.

Join our email list and stay up to date on all the latest professional development opportunities!
The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Framingham State University.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

© The John C. Stalker Institute, 2024
We noticed you’re using an outdated browser version. It is recommended that you upgrade to the latest version of Edge for an improved browsing experience.
The John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition is a partnership of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Framingham State University.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
USDA Nondiscrimination Statement.

© The John C. Stalker Institute, 2024