How to Cut
The chef knife, also known as a French knife, has a specific design that when utilized as intended, makes continuous chopping easy, relatively effortless, and safe. The key is the curve that runs along the edge from mid blade to tip. That curve is made for rocking. To properly chop, the tip of the knife never leaves the cutting board, and the blade rocks down and forward, back and up. The actual cutting should take place toward the rear of the blade.
Flashy, showman chefs may chop violently with a lot of noise, but lifting the knife completely off the cutting board with every cut puts enormous tension on the wrist, and after only a few minutes, fatigue sets in.
To hold the knife, grasp the handle. The index finger can rest along the top of the shaft, or wrap around the handle. It’s a matter of personal comfort.
Cut food into manageable lengths, about 3-4 inches long. Most people can cut 2 or 3 pieces of food at a time. Round foods, like carrots, should be given a flat edge. Cut them in half lengthwise and lay them on their cut side for stability. Next, slice lengthwise again at desired thickness, which will yield several long, flat slices. Lay flat on their side again, and slice again, length or cross wise, depending on desired shape.
Watch Your Fingers
Finger tips are precious, and if you want to keep yours, keep them tucked back, away from the blade. In the proper position, the tips are touching the food, and the first knuckle is pushed forward, so that it actually comes in contact with the side of the blade. (The side, not the edge, of the blade!) This contact helps you guide the food into the blade, and gives you maximum control over the size of your cuts. This position, with fingertips back, is not natural, and will definitely take some practice. Buy yourself a 69-cent bag of carrots, and chop away until you feel comfortable with the motion and the grip. Then use the carrots to feed your horse.