The boy’s got to cook


My only son Benjamin has embarked on a career as a cook at the Old Stove Brewing Company located just below the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.  So this last Christmas, I got him some of the tools of the trade that any self respecting cook would have in his locker.


That object Ben is grasping in the photo is a knife roll.  Chefs need a means of transporting their knives from home to “the office.”  Ben let me know that he was going to be working full time at Old Stove just before Christmas.  I called his kitchen manager and asked what tools Ben needed for his job.  “Well, he needs a knife roll for sure,” was the advice I got.  When I asked the kitchen manager if he had a favorite knife roll, he said “Well, if you want to get him the best, get him a Hardmill knife roll; they are made over on Roosevelt right here in Seattle!”  Hardmill’s motto is “Durable Goods of Lasting Quality”; I was sold.  I drove to Hardmill and had the great pleasure of meeting Ryan Barrie, the owner of Hardmill.  I got Ben Hardmill’s black waxed denim knife roll; it is very stylish.  For his birthday next month, the Hardmill chef’s apron might be Ben’s birthday gift.



I decided to put two knives into Ben’s Hardmill knife roll.  They needed to be American knives so I went online and ordered a Lamson Santoku knife,lamsom santoku knife

and a Lamson utility knife.

lamson utility_knife

Lamson & Goodnow is the oldest cutlery manufacturer in the United States; they started making knives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, in 1837.  In 2015, Lamson moved its production facilities a few towns to the south of Shelburne Falls to Westfield, Massachusetts.  About anything you need for when you are in the kitchen, Lamson makes here in America.  I am in the market for a new turner for fish and I think I have found the one I need at the Lamson website.


In Seattle, we have access to lots of yummy seafood and I think I will soon be buying Lamson’s “Seafood Set” which will allow me to dispatch and consume assorted mollusks, bivalves and other sea critters.

seafood set 2


All sorts of interesting stuff resides in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., including an amazing collection of Lamson products.  In 1869, Lamson & Goodnow presented newly elected U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant with a 62-piece dinner set. Half of the handcrafted utensils bore handles of ivory, while the handles on the others were pure mother-of-pearl.  I just finished Ron Chernow’s 970 page tome on Grant, and sadly there was no mention by Chernow of whether the Hero of Appomattox regularly dined with his Lamson and Goodnow table set.  A shocking omission in an otherwise amazing book.  All I can say is that if you are in need of any tools relating to cooking or food preparation, look no farther than Lamson!

How long Mr. Ben will be working in the kitchen is tough to say.  He is a very hard worker, has always found his own jobs and never grips about long shifts in front of the stove.  If you are in Seattle for business or pleasure, consider stopping for a meal at Old Stove Brewing Company.  The food is good, the view is spectacular and the place oozes gemutlichkeit.  The son and heir will be working like a strap in front of the grill during your meal at Old Stove, so let him know you read this post and you will probably get a chuckle out of him and a shake of his head regarding his blog posting father!

About Simply American LLC

I live in Seattle and love telling stories about Americans, the places where they work and the things that they make. I have just published a book, Simply American, encouraging Americans to purchase American made products; the book can be ordered at
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1 Response to The boy’s got to cook

  1. Andy says:

    Cool. I live just north of Boston, so I’ll have to check them out.

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