The kitchen knives that chef and bladesmith Marco Guldimann makes in his workshop in Zurich are sharp, beautiful and uniquely designed for each customer.
He knows from personal experience what the perfect kitchen knife must be like. 29-year-old Marco Guldimann was trained as a chef before teaching himself to design and forge kitchen knives. His knives are often composed of many layers of different carbon steel. The resulting blade can attest to all the hard and loud work that went into it. Layer upon layer, Guldimann has hammered and formed the Damascus steel on the anvil. He doesn’t process ready-made blades. All the blades are individually produced items. From the initial handling to the final sheathing process, it takes up to 60 hours to finish a single knife. The blades from Guldimann’s knives are so sharp, that they can cut a tomato into thin slices almost without any pressure.
Both professions of chef and bladesmith have a lot in common according to the young artisan: “Both activities require speed and precision. You cannot be put off by heat and physical exertion, because that would have a negative effect on the result,” he says. “And in both professions, I need a special sense of matter and form.” Guldimann has read books from around the world in order to familiarise himself with the craft of a bladesmith. He scoured the internet and acquired metallurgical knowledge and skills, and experimented until he perfectly mastered his craft. “I needed about ten years of hammering, grinding and sharpening until I was satisfied with my kitchen knives.”
Not only Guldimann is satisfied with his knives today, but he already has regular customers from the high-end gastronomy. They will get a knife from him, which is tailored to their wishes and needs. For such a high-quality working instrument, which remains the most important tool in any kitchen, aficionados and professionals can pay several thousand francs. The price, Guldimann explains, is based on structure and size of the blade and the materials used.
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