The daughter of Eastern European immigrants, Bonnie Morales launched Russian restaurant Kachka in Portland, Oregon to celebrate traditional Eastern European culture and cuisine. Stocking a range of vodkas and serving dishes like golubtsi (cabbage rolls), smoked trout salad and borscht, Kachka quickly became one of Portland’s buzziest restaurants, earning Morales a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant in 2015. Her knife kit, while grounded in essentials, contains tools that meet the specific needs of Kachka’s Russian fare, including a salmon slicer for house-cured fish and an ultra-thin serrated blade to cut through dense breads.

Teruyasu Fujiwara Chef’s Knife

“It’s a smaller chef’s knife with a deep void in the heel, making it super comfortable for me. I tend to really choke up on my knife, so when I saw this style of blade, I was in love. The combo of being able to choke up on it and it being on the smaller side gives me a lot of control — like what you get in a utility knife, but with the productivity of a chef’s knife.”

Tojiro 270mm Bread Slicer

“I don’t really use serrated knives for very much. For most breads I still prefer a very sharp chef’s knife, but what’s nice about the Tojiro is that it’s thinner than most bread knives so it works particularly well with the molasses content of some of the black breads we use at Kachka. Most serrated knives would get gummed up, but this one works like a charm.”

Mac Chef Series 4-Inch Paring Knife

“A paring knife is my favorite style of knife. If you keep your paring knife razor sharp, you can do almost everything with it. My mother cuts everything in her kitchen with just a paring knife in the air over a bowl. No cutting board, no vegetable peelers. It’s amazing, and it’s always stuck with me.”

Wüsthof 12-Inch Salmon Slicer

“The Wüsthof salmon slicer, just like it sounds, is amazing for slicing through cured fish. We cure a lot of our own fish at Kachka, and this knife has a hollow edge, which reduces friction, and is really skinny, which makes easy work out of slicing paper-thin pieces of cured fish.”

Wüsthof 6-Inch Flexible Boning Knife

“A Wüsthof flexible boning knife for breaking down larger cuts of meat. The shape is perfect to navigate around all those oddly shaped bones when deboning.”

Kikuichi Utility Knife

“A utility knife for more precise work, like supreming citrus.”

Emily Singer

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