Professional chefs get to play with top-quality kitchen toys, knives in particular. A chef's knife is probably the most personal cooking tool of all. Regardless of what the glossy ads in cooking magazines say, chances are it's not a Wusthof Trident or Henckels being picked up in that million-dollar kitchen -- it's probably a Global.
One-piece stainless steel, perfectly balanced and sharp as a Samurai sword, Japanese-made Global knives have won "best knife" competitions worldwide since 1985 and were called the "knife of choice" by bad-boy chef Anthony Bourdain in his best-seller, "Kitchen Confidential" (a great read, by the way; Ecco Press, $14). From the five-inch utility parer (list price $48) to an impressive 12-inch chef's blade ($140), Globals are hot. Get yours at the Knife Factory at Belz Factory Outlet World (407-351-8464) or http://www.ChefsResource.com. And watch your fingers.