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Q&A: Top Cut knives combine form and function to meet the needs of foodservice chefs

In this interview, Cangshan founder Henry Liu discusses how the company considered everything from materials to food safety when designing the line and what three knives are must-haves for every chef.

3 min read


Q&A: Top Cut knives combine form and function to meet the needs of foodservice chefs

Top Cut | P Series featuring Swedish Sandvik 12C27 and 14C28N Steel

This post is sponsored by Top Cut.

Knives are the pride of any chef’s toolkit, and chefs who work in foodservice rely on versatile, durable knives to handle the high volume of commercial kitchens. Cangshan’s Top Cut division focuses on crafting knives both elemental and essential in function, incorporating high-quality materials and thoughtful design features that make them ideal for foodservice. SmartBrief interviewed Cangshan founder Henry Liu about

Henry Liu, founder and owner of Top Cut by Cangshan

how the company designed the Top Cut line with professional chefs in mind and what three knives every chef should have in his or her kit.

Cangshan is launching the Top Cut line at the National Restaurant Association Show this month. What sets Top Cut apart from other cutlery lines and makes it a must-have for foodservice professionals?

When you talk to chefs in the industry you learn the amount of effort and expense they spend looking for the best ingredients. At Top Cut we are the same, we kept searching until we found the best materials to make knives with, Swedish Sandvik 12C27 and 14C28N Steels. This steel really sets our knives apart, forming the foundation of our elite quality and when paired with our special heat treatment means our knives are sharper out of the box and can keep their sharp edge up to five times longer than our competitors.

Food safety is obviously a top concern in professional kitchens. What inspired the color-coded handles in the Top Cut line, designed to eliminate cross-contamination?

Foodservice is completely different than cooking at home. Thanks to our experience in the commercial foodservice industry we were familiar with the standards commercial kitchens must follow. This is the reason we designed our handles to work effectively in these exacting environments.

What other practices and concerns of professional chefs inspired the features of the Top Cut line?

In the beginning our team was passionate about bringing unique designs to market, but as we engaged professional chefs we found a huge need for functional, affordable knives as well. This informed the design of our more “traditional” commercial cutlery. We made easy to clean, durable knives with better steel than knives currently found in this market. Our goal is to make a knife that meets all the needs of the chef —  comfortable, balanced, sharp.

Versatile knives can help foodservice professionals streamline their toolkit. What would you say are the three essential knives every chef needs?

Good question. Knives can be very personal to the chef, but I would go with an 8-inch chef, 10.25-inch serrated knife and a 3.5-inch paring knife. Thanks to our special heat treatment our Top Cut serrated knives are really versatile and can do a lot more than cut bread.

Henry Liu is the founder of Cangshan, named for the small city in China where he grew up and started his first kitchenware company.


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