CLASSES @ 766 Valencia Street

Photo by Molly DeCoudreaux

All classes are given at our main location —766 Valencia St. between 18th and 19th.

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.

Whetstone Sharpening Classes
**if you don’t see a date that works for you but can organize up to 5 others, you can book out a 2-hour spot with Josh. Please email to inquire.


Introduction to whetstone sharpening (beginning primer) knife sharpening.

Students will learn the core techniques of sharpening a chef knife with whetstones. Knives and stones will be provided by Bernal Cutlery. $85

Please note that our San Francisco shop moved to 766 Valencia St.

Intermediate Japanese whetstone sharpening expanded double bevel techniques for hand-forged Japanese knives. $85 Click on the date to register


After taking the intro class students can sign up for a class that will expand on the basic techniques of edge formation to work on thinning and reprofiling a hand-forged Japanese knife with a kireba as well as improving edge formation skills. Knives and stones supplied by Bernal Cutlery. The prerequisite for this class is the beginning class. If you feel like you don’t have to take the intro class, feel free to email to inquire.

Introduction to single bevel sharpening with deba. $85 TBA

Students will learn the basic techniques of sharpening a traditional Japanese single bevel knife, students will learn the fundamentals with a deba knife. Knives and stones supplied by Bernal Cutlery.

*Josh Donald has logged in over 10,000 hours of sharpening as the proprietor of Bernal Cutlery and Author of Sharp. Josh spends a lot of time 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 children. And like Albert Einstein, Josh owns 12 identical sets of the same outfit and has never paid for a haircut.

Honesuki Kaku Knife Chicken Primer (Japanese Poultry Knife) 

In this introduction to butchery class, you will learn anatomy and the basic technique for break-down of a chicken. Students will learn how to de-bone, the differences between the various portions as well as a primer into stock/bone broth making. Students will leave the classes with prepared meat for cooking and the bones and veggies needed to make stock.  Students will learn knife skills and practice using a Japanese boning knife known as Honesuki.

*Tim moved to San Francisco to work at Avedano’s in Bernal Heights after working as a line cook in Orange County. He spent years as a butcher learning whole animal butchery, sausage making, and charcuterie. When he is not sharpening knives he enjoys photography and cooking.

Price: $95 contact Tim to register:
Date: email to coordinate a date
Class Size: 3-4 students


Foundational Knife Skills and Cooking Primer – Prepping a Seasonal Recipe

This skills-based class will focus on two culinary fundamentals: knife skills and palate building through tasting. Appropriate for any skill or age level, students will leave with confidence in their ability to trust their sense of taste, season food in a well-balanced manner, and safely use a chef’s knife. In class, students will prepare raw ingredients to take home to make a seasonal meal by learning essential cooking techniques; including preparing mise en place, staging ingredients and tasting for the progression of a dish. 

Cost: $85 per person

Date: email to coordinate a Saturday
Time: 6:30-8:30 PM
Location: Bernal Cutlery at 766 Valencia St.
Class Size: up to 6 students

Please email to schedule on a Sunday and for a class on a Thursday Evening

Thursday classes are taught by Conor McKee, who grew up in St. Petersburg Florida. After earning a degree in The University of South Florida Cultural Anthropology where he studied; later to study at The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park as well. After culinary school and over the years Conor worked at many inspiring food establishments including Woodberry Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant in Baltimore, and other restaurants such as Camino and The Willows Inn on Lummi Island where he enjoyed cooking and foraging for wild ingredients while working on the farm, and playing a key part in the guest experience. When he found himself in San Francisco, working as the chef de partie at State Bird Provisions he also found Bernal Cutlery as a customer. As soon as he picked up his first Hinoura gyuto, he was hooked. Currently, Conor is a key sharpener on the Bernal Cutlery shop crew and continues to be inspired by cooking and people.

Sunday Classes are taught by Katy Jane who is Bernal Cutlery’s Outreach Coordinator, staff sharpener and is always ready at the counter to talk knives and cooking. Having spent nearly a decade in New Orleans cooking in restaurant kitchens, Katy Jane moved to the Bay Area to cook, eat, and teach. Katy Jane has worked with organizations like the Edible Schoolyard, Cafe Reconcile, and YUM Chefs as a chef educator – primarily with children and youth in underrepresented communities. Inspired by local, seasonal food she aims to use food for good and not just profit; Katy Jane especially loves snacking, chatting, and connecting with people.

Japanese Knife Skills: Breaking Down Fish

Taught by Taka Tozawa, this class covers traditional Japanese Deba knife skills necessary in breaking down a whole fish and 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. Students work individually with Taka to help them learn the proper technique and will also focus on teaching how to work safer, cleaner, and faster.  Deba is provided for students who do not have one. Please specify if you are left-handed. Prepayment only to hold your and cancellations with 48-hour notice will receive a refund.

Price: Fish breakdown $120. Contact Taka to register:
Dates: Email for openings
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Bernal Cutlery 766 Valencia Street, SF, CA
Class Size: 3 students

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. Prepayment only to hold your and cancellations with 48-hour notice will receive a refund.

Price:  $100. Contact Taka to register:
Dates: Email for openings
Time: 6:00 pm
Location:Bernal Cutlery 766 Valencia Street, SF, CA
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 which set him on the road to working as a professional cook for many years.