Tauranga-based Cherie Metcalfe, founder and CEO of popular and ever growing local food brand Pepper & Me, is proud to unveil her latest venture as one of the country’s leading food-entrepreneurs. This time, bringing handcrafted carbon steel knives to Aotearoa.
Like her much-loved collection of sauces, rubs, crumbs and sprinkles that have garnered a cult following of keen Kiwi foodies, Cain & Abel was born from a love of cooking. “I’m so excited to bring these blades to New Zealand,” says Metcalfe, also the author of best-selling cookbook KEEPERS and founder of Kitco
cast iron cookware. “It’s time for stainless steel to take the back seat so Kiwis can experience the joys of a carbon steel knife.”
Set to equip Kiwi kitchens from Cape Reinga to Bluff, and beyond to Australia too, the brand officially launched this month bringing a sashimi knife, three santoku-style blades of varying lengths and a mineral knife oil to NZ from Vietnam where they are handcrafted by a local family business.
Made from spring steel recycled from cars and trucks, each Cain & Abel knife is handmade and hammered with precision over a hot outdoor fire. There are no machines, no factories and no mass production – every single blade has its own unique beauty. Discarded automotive parts are a very good source of knife steel, usually made from 5160 carbon steel and often used to great effect by expert
knife-makers when creating highly-desirable custom designs. Although commonly overshadowed by it, carbon steel is stronger than stainless steel and can be sharpened to an extremely high standard edge.
The brand has also worked closely with local knife expert Kensuki of Japan Sharpening Service in Mount Maunganui who polishes and sharpens each knife to peak condition. “Ken has been wonderful to work alongside,” says Metcalfe. “He believes in carbon steel as much as I do. We know it might be tricky to get
people to follow the care instructions and not put their knives in the dishwasher but if they make the effort, their blades will last a lifetime, be a whole heap easier to sharpen and hold a better edge.”