For one week only, our Olive Wood Knife Block set is only $69.95!
What is a Laguiole knife (and how am I supposed to pronounce it, anyway)?
The original Laguiole knife (pronounced Laïole – drop the hard ‘g’ sound) dates back to 1828 when the first coutelier moved to Laguiole in Aveyron, France. The original and iconic folding pocket knife we all recognize today is based on the design of a knife used by farmers to pierce the stomach of cows with meteorism (potentially fatal bloating *shudder*). By 1840, the poinçon and the corkscrew were added to the line, creating a complete set; “the three pieces”. Thanks to their elegant and distinctive lines, as well as the use of luxurious materials and unmatched finishing, they became veritable works of art that won many awards and competitions.
Today, French couteliers produce a variety of knife and cutlery sets in the Laguiole tradition of high craftsmanship and fine materials. The prestige of these knives lies in the completely unique expertise developed by the Laguiolais and Thiers craftsmen. Today much of the French Laguiole manufacturing is done in the Thiers region in the Puy-de-Dome. There is no observable difference between a good quality Laguiole made and manufactured in Thiers and in Laguiole, as the two cities are home to excellent craftsmen. These days, it is understood that Laguiole knives are like haute-couture for your table.
What does Philippe Starck have to do with my knife?
In the 1980s everybody’s favorite architect/designer, Philippe Starck along with the maire of Laguiole, and some local inhabitants opened a new Laguiole forge and reinvigorated the line with enormous success. But not without controversy. The Starck knives are quite different from the traditional design and are argued by some to fail in maintaining the spirit of Laguiole knives (Starck changed th blade dimensions and simplified the bee). The Laguiolais take their knives and their cheese extremely seriously (good folks). The upshot is that the success of the Starck knives spurred other laguiolais and thiernois societies to reopen their forges as well.
While I prefer the original look, I think this modern version is pretty slick. What do you think?
How can I tell if my Laguiole set is real?
The Laguiole brand does not actually exist. It has never been trademarked and is therefore in the public domain. This lack of protection is the reason we see so much poor quality manufacturing claiming to be of Laguiole origin. You cannot count on the presence of a bee or a fly logo to be indicative of a real Laguiole-quality knife. It is also the reason why we see different Laguiole logos on genuine Laguiole knives.
Our advice is to always purchase from a trusted vendor and to look for the certificate of origin. Beware of online vendors with prices that seem too good to be true, as those knives probably originate in Asia and will not have the same quality.
So now, if you’d like perfect steak to go with your perfect knife, here’s a great recipe!
Perfectly Grilled Steak Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine
Prep Time: 15 min, Cook Time: 15 min
Serves: 4 servings
- 4 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch-thick boneless rib-eye or New York strip steaks (about 12 ounces each) or filets mignons (8 to 10 ounces each), trimmed
- 2 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- About 20 minutes before grilling, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let sit, covered, at room temperature.
- Heat your grill to high. Brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until golden brown and slightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to grill 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F), 5 to 7 minutes for medium (140 degrees F) or 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (150 degrees F).
- Transfer the steaks to a cutting board or platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
This recipe provided by Television Food Network G.P. Click here to see original recipe on foodnetwork.com