To many, there’s nothing more essential in the kitchen – and on the table – than an exceptional knife. A well-designed blade has been invaluable since the dawn of man, when the difference between having one and not could be a matter of life or death.
Legendary Laguiole has been acknowledged as one of the greatest makers of knives ever, but it wasn’t always a brand. Instead, the name simply referred to the region in which it was produced, and in particular, the village of Laguiole, a pastoral community in southern France. Known for cheese-making and, of course, the crafting of extraordinary knives, tiny Laguoile was named for “little church,” which is exactly what sat at its center. A village blacksmith made the first fixed-blade knife in 1829, though area peasants had been using a simpler version long before. It took the craftsmen of Laguoile more than ten years to add an awl to their knives, and another 40 to include a corkscrew.
This slow and steady curation of essential features testifies to the craftsmanship and expertise that goes into producing each item – even today, when the collection includes tableware. The fastidious approach is the same: provide handcrafted cutlery of the highest quality, made at Forge de Laguoile using the highest quality steel. Hand cut the handle, which could be made from French wood, horn and even mammoth ivory, ensuring that it has that Shepherd’s Cross motif along the side and the bee on the forced notch. The bee – or possibly a fly – has been there from the beginning.
Every Laguiole piece maintains the original design, with the slender, elegant, tapered blade and a handle that feels warm to the hand using it. When you select a piece from Laguiole, you’re preserving the Aveyron traditions of blacksmiths and artisans who were simply making what was essential, but doing so exquisitely.