Quintin Middleton had a dream one night that God told him to make chef knives. “I said, ‘Okay, Lord I’m trusting in you,’” recalls the 26-year-old St. Stephens bladesmith. Call it divine intervention or just good luck, but the dutiful artisan soon found himself an apprenticeship with master knifesmith Jason Knight, who trained him in the art of tempering high-carbon steel into exquisite, handcrafted tools. Alas, Middleton’s work was not finished—he needed clients.
“I called every top chef in Charleston,” he says. Sensing the cutler’s potential, Cypress executive chef Craig Deihl tried the knives and put him in touch with Guerrilla Cuisine mastermind jimihatt. Thanks to a debut at one of the Guerrilla Cuisine events, the young artisan quickly grabbed chefs’ attention.
Today, local chefs Howard LaFour and Nathan Thurston, along with famed Homaro Cantu of Moto Restaurant in Chicago, all sing Middleton’s praises. “The ergonomic design and the way his knives keep their edge—it’s like cutting with art,” says Cantu. The host of Future Food is such a fan he says they’ll be using Middleton Made Knives on season two of his show, airing on the Discovery Channel. “I’m thinking about buying all of my employees Quintin’s knives for Christmas,” he adds. Hey, if they’re good enough for today’s leading kitchen chemist, why not pop one under the tree for your own favorite cook?
Quintin Middleton's handcrafted knives can be purchased at www.middletonmadeknives.com.