The first time you wield a quality kitchen knife, the realization dawns on you that all other blades are imposters—completely and utterly lacking in culinary prowess.
Bob Kramer knows something about that. Years ago he was a professional cook. Then he gave it all up to start making knives. Today, he’s one of only 122 master bladesmiths certified in the American Bladesmith Society, and the only one who specializes in kitchen knives.
Anthony Bourdain went to visit Kramer in Olympia, Wash., for an episode of his series Raw Craft. In the episode, Bourdain says of the bladesmith: “Bob Kramer is clearly out of his mind. This process is so difficult and so long, it’s insane to work this hard to improve something as utilitarian as a knife, you’d think. But at the end of the day, what comes out is so unique and so beautiful, all I can say is that I want that kind of crazy.”
That process involves forging steel from melted meteorites, which makes Kramer’s knives some of the most impressive out there. Bourdain calls them a “status symbol” among collectors and chefs for their sharpness, resilience, and strength.
To see Kramer make one of his knives (and later, cook salmon with an induction coil and a meteorite), check out the video below.