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Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux

Knife skills— Japanese style fish breakdown and Japanese and Western style vegetable knife skills classes—are offered along with Japanese whetstone sharpening. All classes are small and hands on instruction.

Everyday Western Knife Skills

Students in this class will be covering technique, knife-skills, mise en place, and how to utilize restaurant prep tactics in the home kitchen. Sharp knives are supplied.

Price: $75 contact Sam to register:
Date: email to coordinate a date
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Location: Bernal Cutlery, 593 Guerrero St.
Class Size: 3-4 students

*Born and raised on the West coast, Sam Rezendes has been working in restaurants for over 10 years. Starting his career washing dishes in Port Townsend, WA, he has since worked in restaurants in Portland and San Francisco, most recently State Bird Provisions. He draws influence and inspiration from extensive travels in Asia and Europe. He also likes to sharpen knives and play bass.

Japanese Whetstone Sharpening

This class is taught by the proprietor of Bernal Cutlery, Josh Donald. Students will be shown the basic techniques for sharpening western style “double beveled” knives and get personalized instruction as they sharpen their own knives. Stones are provided for use in the class and additional sharpening supplies to take home are also offered for sale at Bernal Cutlery. Cancellations with 48 hour notice will receive a refund minus 3% for credit card fees

Price: $75 *register for 10/15 here, 10/16 here, 10/18 here, 10/23 here, 11/5 here, 11/17 here,

11/22 here, 12/1 here

Date: 6:30 pm to 8:30-9: pm

evenings 6:30 pm to 8:30-9 pm 
Location: Bernal Cutlery, 593 Guerrero St.
Class Size: 4 students

*Josh Donald has logged in over 10,000 hours of sharpening as the proprietor of Bernal Cutlery. Josh spends a lot of time geeking out, researching old knives and trying out his newest Japanese, French, and vintage finds in his home kitchen to the delight of his wife Kelly, and often to the consternation of his sons. And like Albert Einstein, Josh owns 12 identical sets of the same outfit and has never paid for a haircut.

Japanese Knife Skills: Breaking Down Fish

This class, taught by Taka Tozawa, covers traditional Japanese Deba knife skills necessary in breaking down a whole fish. This covers everything from scaling and cleaning to cutting the fillets and how to utilize the entire fish. The Deba knife offers a much wider range of applications than the flexible fillet knife, utilizing more of the fish, and students will be able to take home the fruits of their labor. Taka will work individually with each student to help them learn the proper technique and will also focus on teaching how to work safer, cleaner and faster. Taka will provide a deba for students who do not have one, please specify if you are left handed. Cancellations with 48 hour notice will receive a refund minus 3% for credit card fees.

Price: $100 contact Taka to register:
Dates: Email for openings
Time: 6:15 pm
Location: Bernal Cutlery, 593 Guerrero St.
Class Size: 3 students

Japanese Knife Skills: Vegetables

This class is taught by Taka Tozawa and covers Japanese style vegetable preparation and garnish knife skills using a single beveled yanagiba (most commonly used with sashimi preparation) including katsuramuki peeling technique using cucumber, daikon and apples. The Japanese vegetable garnish knife technique brings out the vegetable’s flavor and is designed to work with and improve texture. Taka will focus on knife technique which will help the student to work safer faster and cleaner. Taka will provide a yanagiba to students who do not have one, please specify if you are left handed. Cancellations with 48 hour notice will receive a refund minus 3% for credit card fees.

Price: $90 contact Taka to register
Dates: Email for openings
Time: 6:15 pm
Location: Bernal Cutlery, 593 Guerrero St.
Class Size: 3 students

*Both of the above classes are taught by Sushi Chef, Taka Tozawa, a native of Tokyo, Japan who has lived in San Francisco for over 10 years. Taka’s family came from Tohoku in the north of Japan where the local food made a big impression as a child. He began cooking with his mom when he was 10 and knew then and there it was something he wanted to do.

Knife Skills for Children 

Class description:

We believe children who participate in mealtime preparations are more likely to be excited about eating what they have prepared. Kids who cook, will try new foods and be more engaged in the family mealtime. Teaching kids how to cook is fundamental to building self esteem, establishing family bonds and opening a world of possibilities for future healthy food choices. Bringing kids into a conversation about where food comes from and being part of bringing it the table brings a sense of ownership and personal investment.

Children will spend instructional time discussing knife safety and cutting rules, learn how to make simple cuts and prep a recipe. Class fee includes a knife to take home. Our idea of sending your child home with their own knife is intentional in that the conversation and skill building will continue beyond class. We hope to help families make a commitment to forge ways to cook and eat together on a regular basis. The course will also include a simple nutrition lesson; including whole grains, healthy portions and food combinations that make for healthy plates and eating habits. We will also offer tips for parents on how to get kids more engaged in cooking and eating healthy meals.

*Classes will be taught by Kelly Kozak, co-owner of Bernal Cutlery, nutrition educator, a food justice activist and mother of three. Having a big passion for food justice, Kelly works where she can to help with community nutrition education and healthy food access. Kelly was a 2009, 2010, and 2011 recipient for the First Five Family Grant where she worked together with a group of five neighborhood families to execute a kindergarten readiness curriculum based on gardening and nutrition. Her favorite quote is Marion Nestle at a lectern, announcing that “if one wanted to be truly radical, then they should teach a kid to cook”. Kelly will host this class with various co-teachers to help facilitate new themes and curriculum through-out the season to offer diverse class content with seasonal ingredients.

Please stay tuned to details about registration and dates. 


Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux