High quality knives make all the difference in the world. This set of Shun Classic knives would be a great starter set for the culinary student.
Shun knives are especially sharp due to the angle of the cutting surface. The cutting edge is ground to an angle of 16 degrees, whereas most German knives only use 22 degrees. The Japanese steel also allows the knives to hold their edge longer.
VG-10 high-carbon stainless-steel blades with 16 layers of stainless alloy for Damascus clad appearance
Stainless-steel end caps and traditional ergonomic offset bolsters
Black laminated PakkaWood handles designed for maximum comfort
Made in Japan; lifetime warranty
Here’s a great review for these knives.
The best knives I’ve ever owned, bar none. They come with a razor edge and are easy to re-hone with just a few strokes on the Kershaw-Shun steel (well worth purchasing to accompany this set). The damascus pattern and perfectly crafted profile slice through darn near anything (food-like anyway) with ease. I also got a 9″ scalloped slicing knife and sharpening steel to round out the set. The weight and balance are perfect. They are designed for right-handed chefs with a d-shaped handle so if you are a leftie they may not be as comfortable or easy to use. L.A. Kane – Amazon
Here’s a video describing the Shun Knife experience via Williams Sonoma.
This sushi set designed by Stefano Giovannoni in 2008 features whimsical birds and clouds that will make your meal delightful. The set contains a small dish for soy sauce, large plate, chopstick rest in bone china, set of chopsticks in PA and a silk place mat. This is a limited edition, like many Alessi items, so you’ll need to hurry up to get one of these for your birthday.