The Japanese knife company opens a pop-up shop in Vancouver to bring chef-quality tools to the culinary masses.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 4.21.14 PMEight years ago in Calgary, Knifewear founder Kevin Kent had a vision of creating a space that was welcoming and unpretentious. While some cooking accessory stores can feel a bit intimidating, Knifewear aimed to do the opposite—and to give every chef the opportunity to have the best knife out there.The Japanese knife company opened its third annual Vancouver pop-up shop at 845 E Hastings St. (open May 1 to the end of July). In addition to offering knife sharpening and knife skill classes, most of Knifewear’s employees are former chefs. “We’ve started referring to Knifewear as ‘Chef Rehab’,” says general manager Mike Wrinch, who was a chef for 17 years himself before leaving the restaurant industry. In turn, customers get to hear advice from employees who know the practical side of the business. For instance, three good, well cared for knives are much better than a 15-piece kit, says Wrinch. “Customers get to learn a few cool things—some tips and tricks from an old chef.”

Chef’s Pick: Masakage Koishi, 210 mm Gyuto

Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 10.31.49 AM“This carbon steel knife—sharper than you can imagine—makes the best edge. This type of steel can rust, which is a hassle, but the blacksmith has clad the carbon steel with stainless steel that doesn’t rust. It’s the best of both worlds. That and it is as sexy as Jim Morrison in leather pants.” Mike Wrinch, Knifewear GM$311, available at Knifewear