Knife business cuts a dash among top chefs

A KNIFE firm is hoping to cut into bigger markets after establishing a niche customer base with top chefs and celebrities.

Kin Knives, based in Needham Market, has developed a ‘cult’ following among.

It is now hoping to expand the business by selling its range on its newly-launched website, designed by Ipswich-based Crafted Media.

Sisters Rebecca and Harriet Murland took over the day-to-day running of their father Tony’s Japanese knives business in 2006.

On a visit to Japan, he was struck by the beautifully balanced knives he found there and brought some back to the UK, then set up his company.

Since then, the Samurai-inspired knives have found their way into the kitchens of some of the top professional chefs in the country, and have developed an equally impressive celebrity following.

Restaurants using the knives include Claridge’s, Le Gavroche, Jun Tanaka’s Pearl Restaurant, 4th floor Harvey Nichols, Rick Stein’s seafood restaurant and Morston Hall.

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“We spend a lot of time sourcing high quality and bespoke kitchen knives from selected niche manufacturers throughout Japan,” said Rebecca.

“Of particular importance to us is not only the quality of each knife but the heritage behind its construction.

“Although our knives feature on the ‘Saturday Kitchen’ show, Great British Menu and The Hairy Bikers, we are delighted to finally be able to share this level of craftsmanship on a more accessible level through our website.”

Prices range from �40 to more than �400 per knife. Each is made using a three layered construction, rather than a single piece of stainless steel.

The firm says this is the fundamental difference between Japanese knives and others and what gives the design its edge.

The more expensive and sophisticated ranges include multiple layers of Damascus steel, employing the same technology used in the making of Samurai swords.

The firm’s Sekisou range is made up of 16 layers of steel while the Suminagashi knives have 64 layers, both with a central cutting core.

The Tanaka collection has 32 layers of alternating nickel and stainless steel surrounding a cutting core of powdered R2 steel with a handcrafted ironwood handle.

“Regularly attending food events up and down the country, including the Good Food Show, Kin Knives have developed a loyal following,” said Harriet.

The launch of the website also made the knives much more accessible to those already familiar with their product, she said.

“Essentially, the website enables them to easily refer new customers as well as come back for new additions to their own kitchens.”