This new culinary shop, which opened on November 26, is the brainchild of two former chefs: Craig Field and Tina Chon. The pair met while working at Rioja, and quickly bonded once they realized they were both self-professed “knife geeks.” They had each fallen in love with knives through years of working in restaurant kitchens. “Someone would come along with a nice knife and it would be life-changing [for me],” Field says. Chon echoes that sentiment: “My first knife was a Japanese carbon. Someone had to teach me how to sharpen it, clean it, and take care of it.” Eventually, both Field and Chon found themselves passing along their learned knife smarts to stages (unpaid interns) and new kitchen hires.
Along the way, they realized that there was a shortage of places to shop for high-quality blades in Denver. They often waited months for high-end knives they had ordered online, only to be disappointed.
Their sleek, stylish shop, Carbon, is the answer to that deficit. Although you can also find a curated selection of other chef-approved culinary supplies (from cookbooks and sheet pans to aprons and cutting boards), the centerpiece of the store is undoubtably the knife wall. Most of these are Japanese (Masakage, Takeda, and Yu Kurosaki, to name a few) but there are a few American-made and restored vintage options in the mix, too. And unlike shopping for a knife online, here, customers can actually hold the wares and get a real feel for them before committing to purchase.
Prices start at around $90 per knife and ramp up to more than $500 for some of the higher-end blades. For chefs who might hold a knife for upwards of five hours a day, it’s an easy investment to justify, but Carbon caters to the home cook as well. “You really only need a couple of knives, and it [buying one or two quality knives] is often less expensive than buying a whole set,” Chon says. Best of all, when you purchase a knife at Carbon, your first sharpening is free.
3264 Larimer St., 720-292-4277
—Photo by Rachel Adams