Chefs Knives: Hartmut Handke

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Spend any amount of time in a restaurant kitchen, and you begin to notice something. In the midst of total chaos, one detail is always in order -- the chef's knives.

The Knife: Swiss Victorinox serrated knife

The Owner: Hartmut Handke, retired chef, Handke's Cuisine

Columbus' legendary chef Hartmut Handke (now retired) marks his knives with a thin strip of yellow tape around the handle.

"Even if you are working in your own kitchen," he explains, "you want to know where your knives are."

All-purpose serrated Swiss Victorinox knives are so ubiquitious in Columbus kitchens, they've been dubbed by local chefs "The Handke's Knife."

"It's one of the cheapest knives you can buy," Handke explained. "It's a knife that is reasonably cheap, around $25."

When Victorinox salesman visited local restaurant supply superstore Wasserstrom, the store sold 600 of them.

"I always buy double and if I want to do somebody a favor, I give them a knife," Handke said. "But I also give them a Band-Aid with it in case they cut themselves."

--Story & photos by Jodi Miller

Tim Carter, Mitchell's Steakhouse

Hartmut Handke

Christopher Spreng, C. William's Bistro

Phuong Mai, Indochine Cafe

Bob Burton, Weiland's Gourmet Market