McEachen will be offering his hand-sharpening services at the Kitchen Gallery on farmers' market Saturdays.
Chef Knives to Go, based in Madison, is the top online retailer of high-end knives from Japan. The company also markets its own line of knives as well as acts as middleman between American chefs with custom requests and Japan's master knife makers.
Former Umami chef Joshua McEachen has been working with Chef Knives To Go for the past few months, and has recently launched his own knife sales and sharpening company, Siglinda.
Chef Knives To Go owner Mark Richmond "encouraged me to start out on my own," says McEachen. "It's something I've been working towards." He named it after his grandmother.
Unlike production knives that are cut from a single sheet of steel, Japanese knives are hand-forged. They each have specific care and sharpening needs. Enter McEachen's bespoke knife service, available to professionals as well as to the public. Prices start at $5 for standard belt sharpening, and range up to $20 for more complicated single-beveled blades.
"You have to get a feel for the knife. If you don't, you can really mess it up," says McEachen.
Siglinda recently called for anyone interested in its services to bring a knife to the Kitchen Gallery, 107 King St., for sharpening.
I had purchased a Hiromoto AS Santoku from Chef Knives To Go a few years ago, and I eagerly brought it in. The blade is carbon steel clad in stainless steel. The combination means an exceptionally sharp knife without the maintenance issues (rust) of full carbon. But it can be intimidating to sharpen without proper skill.
McEachen used a combination of three wet stones to hand-hone the Hiromoto to slicing perfection. He says that based on the success of the first demonstration, he will now be offering his hand-sharpening services at the Kitchen Gallery on farmers' market Saturdays. Siglinda also plans to offer custom wood sheaths. For more info, see the Siglinda Facebook page, contact McEachen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-228-9826.