Our Vancouver

What you need to know before buying a new kitchen knife

Chef Doug Chang is a sharp chef and has just opened a business dedicated to the education and sales of hand crafted Japanese knives. He also offers seminars and sharpening to foodies and those in the business.

Ai & Om a new store in Vancouver selling handcrafted Japanese knives

Chef Doug Chang opens specialty knife store in Vancouver 6:56

Doug Chang has taken one of his greatest passions from the kitchen and turned into a business that is on the cutting edge of culinary pursuits.

He recently opened the store Ai & Om Knives, which not only sells some of the best knives in the world, but also teachers others how to properly use them.

"I think the most important thing is how it feels to you," said Chang. "If you think it feels good and it cuts well than that's the knife for you".

Doug Chang sharpens one of his knives at Ai & Om in East Vancouver. (Doug Chang)

Chang honed his cutting skills as a chef at restaurants in Toronto and New York City before taking on local rooms like WestBambudda, and most recently, Sai Woo.

Japanese knives are his preference as he says blacksmiths in that country tend to formulate steel that is thicker and sharper.

The name of his store — Ai & Om — is a combination of the Mandarin word for love and an abbreviation of the Japanese term for care. 

He suggests using proper knives for different foods and tasks such as a deba knife to fillet fish and a sujihiki knife for slicing Sunday roast or turkey. 

Chang is also passionate about the art of knife-sharpening and offers knife-sharpening workshops where he can teach industry pros, home cooks, and culinary keeners how to properly care for their kitchen blades.

Watch Chang demonstrate how to use a honing rod to sharpen knives on Our Vancouver by clicking on the link below.

With files from CBC's Our Vancouver

To watch the fill interview, click on the video labelled: Doug Chang shows off his A-list knives to Gloria Macarenko