Award-Winning Chef Taps Bradford Knives for Restaurant Cutlery

Knife enthusiasts are known to use their own blades at restaurants. Whatever they have in their pocket or on their belt is almost guaranteed to be a better slicer than what they’ll find at their table. But that won’t be necessary at the new Lakehouse in Bellevue, Washington. Chef and Owner Jason Wilson teamed up with Bradford Knives to supply customers with high-end cutlery alongside their gourmet meals.

Wilson commissioned a special run of 100 Gatsby steak knives from Bradford, brought to the table for selected offerings on the Lakehouse menu. The Gatsby was Bradford’s first product before their highly-popular Guardian line. The idea behind it was to create a steak knife from premium knife materials. Patrons who fall under the spell of the high-end steak knives can also buy a set of their own at the restaurant. “The servers can tell the knives’ story to the patrons, and they can have an opportunity to take home a set for themselves,” explains Brad Larkin, Owner and Founder of Bradford Knives.

The Lakehouse

Larkin and Wilson met in the Miller’s Guild, another restaurant Wilson runs in Seattle. Wilson spotted Larkin using a Gatsby and the knife caught Wilson’s eye. This chance meeting started a growing partnership. “We thought about what kind of knife would be suited to serve at the Lakehouse,” says Larkin. ‘Serve’ is the operative word because Wilson incorporates the blades into the guest experience. Patrons have the Gatsby, tucked in a leather sheath, brought out to them ahead of their food as if it was a dish in and of itself. “They want to make sure that people know it’s a special treat to use a knife like this,” Larkin says.

The Lakehouse Gatsbys subtly deviate from the standard model. They sport canvas instead of linen Micarta handle scales and feature N690 steel, which provides great edge holding and offers suitable impact and rust resistance.

The Lakehouse Gatsby

Wilson, a James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Northwest, tells us even top-tier restaurants don’t give table utensils the attention they deserve. “Most steakhouses have a serrated steak knife as a second thought. I think it’s an area that’s often overlooked and can add quality.” Although a serrated knife requires less maintenance, Larkin insists high-performance plain edge knives slice better. “You don’t have to chainsaw through your steak. It feels like cutting through butter; it’s that easy and smooth.”

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The Lakehouse just opened on June 15th, and in the first week, patrons responded well to the Gatsbys with several customers already buying Lakehouse Gatsbys to take home. Gatsbys will also make their way into the Miller’s Guild and other restaurants have approached Larkin for similar partnerships. Larkin continues to look toward the restaurant market, but hasn’t decided if that means expanding the Gatsby project or making knives for the kitchen. “We see ourselves expanding more into that market. It’s definitely on the forefront.”

Knife featured in image: Bradford Knives Gatsby