People often ask me what the top thing is they can do to become more comfortable in the kitchen. For me the answer is always the same - improve your knife skills. I share this advice based on my own experience. I was fortunate to take (and later assist many times over) a knife skills class at the Kitchen on Fire culinary school in Berkeley, CA, at the beginning of my professional cooking career. Once I began to refine and master various knife skills, my speed and ease in the kitchen increased remarkably, and more importantly, I no longer had to worry about cutting myself (which happened occasionally prior to getting super skilled with a knife).
I usually encourage people to find a local knife skills class, and many end up not taking the time to find one, or they get put off by the cost, since classes can often be upwards of $150.
I'm therefore delighted to let you know that there is currently a FREE course online that I have watched and highly recommend. This video series covered all the essential things you would cover is a paid course. The production is superb, and the instructor is engaging and entertaining. Click here to watch it now (you can thank me later).
I recommend watching the course and taking the time to practice as well. Like the course suggests, it is a great idea to make a batch of veggie stock from all the little bits you cut up while practicing, so make dedicated time just to slice vegetables, which you'll likely find to be an amazing meditation as well!
Like anything, the more you practice, the easier using a knife properly becomes. Some of the "correct" techniques can feel incredibly awkward at first, especially if you're used to handling a knife in some of the more dangerous but common ways that you're steered away from in this course. Once you start to get the hang of things, you'll be astounded by how much time you save in your kitchen prep-work.
If you've never done a knife course before, I hope you'll take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Let me know how you find the course in the comments below!