Cat Cora 8-Inch Chef Knife

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It seems that almost every day another celebrity chef is endorsing a line of home goods and kitchenware, and the latest top toque to join the group is Cat Cora. Currently Cora can be seen judging cooking contestants on Bravo TV's Around the World in 80 Plates, but how does the her own work stand up to scrutiny? Earlier this year, she partnered with Canadian company Starfrit to release an assortment of knives and cookware designed for the home kitchen.

The Iron Chef promises that her namesake tools are practical and stylish. But at a mere $55 for a basic 8" chef's knife, we were skeptical of its quality. We sliced and diced our way through salad greens, steaks and stalks of rhubarb to see how it fared against more expensive competitors.

Positive (+)

The forged blade, made of stone-polished, high-carbon German stainless steel, has a full tang and nice curve that made prep work easy. The knife rocked back and forth as it minced herbs on a cutting board. It also sliced a New York Strip and chopped through rhubarb with little resistance. The 2.5mm blade width is generous and sturdy compared to most other knives (budget-friendly or not.) Finally, a walnut wood handle is not only handsome, but also ergonomically shaped with a bottom curve for a comfortable grip.

Negative (-)

The knife sells itself as being comfortable and lightweight, but cooks who are accustomed to using high-end blades might feel that it's flimsy. And while the handle looks nice, the wood is subject to wear and tear. Regular treatment with mineral oil is recommended but a hassle. We didn't test long enough to determine the lifespan of its blade, but it's a safe bet that regular sharpening is required to maintain its edge. Finally, it requires careful cleaning — the knife needs to be washed and thoroughly dried immediately after each and every use to avoid rust on the blade.


Fresh out of the box, Cora's knife performed the way it should. However, it probably wouldn't outlive pricier professional chef's knives. Even Cora herself is known to use custom-made Japanese knives that run as high as $500. You can say that this is a suitable tool for beginner chefs, but kitchen amateurs would be better off spending the same amount on an entire knife block from a cheap big box store. Consider this a splurge for diehard fans of the TV chef and personality. Cat Cora 8-inch Chef Knife, $55,

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