Not too long ago my Mother gave me a great suggestion as to what to do with some spare time that I had over the summer.She suggested that every day I enter into one contest; if I win some, great. If not, it’s not like I lost anything. So I started to enter all kinds of contests. Most were to win large sums of cash by just entering in your name–which, of course, I never won.Did anyone actually ever win the $10 million dollar jackpot?

An Obsession
I did come across this one website where you could win hand-crafted goods.The website was to promote the artists and was very similar to Etsy.com.I found that one of the contests was to win a Damascus-style hand-forged kitchen knife with an ebony handle, valued at about $650.I was so incredibly excited to see this so, of course, I entered it.The rules stated that you could enter once a day, so that was the first thing I did when I turned on my laptop everyday for a month. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I wanted that knife so bad I became a bit obsessed with visiting that website!

Damascus Blades
Like most chefs out there I am obsessed with beautiful and nice kitchen knives.I have a few good knives but I have always wanted one great knife but always put it low on my priority list of expensive items I was willing to spend money on.If you are not familiar with a Damascus knife, they are a type of steel blade that is made in the traditional style of folding the steel and hammering it out.The metal-smith folds the blade over and over to temper the steel and make it hard.This process results in a very delicate and beautiful layered-wavy design on the blade.Some people swear that these type of knives are much stronger, are sharper, and hold a honed edge longer.If you would live to know more check out this website I found here.

It’s Just a Tool
About a month after I entered the contest I found an email saying that I won!I have never won anything before, ever.I was so excited, and all that time entering my name again and again paid off!About two weeks later, I received my new knife in the mail–and it is beautiful.I love that it is heavy, perfectly balanced, and very sharp.I am a bit scared to use it because I don’t want anything to happen to it but so far I love working with my new knife.It’s amazing the difference between working with a truly good knife and a $30 chefs knife from your local department store.I wonder now how I got through culinary school without a great knife, but then I remember how easily your tools seemed to ‘walk off’ and into the kits of other students.

If you are interested in getting yourself a Damascus steel kitchen knife you should read up about the care of them first.There are certain tasks that much be taken with a hand-made blade like this that you don’t with most brand name blades, so there is a bit more work and care involved.Also, making an investment into a set of wet-stones is a good idea if you want to keep your blade as sharp as it can be.Check out the eBay store of the man who made my knife here.