Grunwerg’s premium knives brand, GLOBAL® knives was recently awarded ‘ICONIC’ status by the UK Housewares Industry at its prestigious gathering towards the end of 2020. A fitting end to an important year which marked the 35th Anniversary of Global’s launch in 1985.
What’s next for Global Knives?
While we will continue to provide the Global Classic Collection we all know and love, the team at Grunwerg have been listening to the newer generations of professional chefs and hobby cooks, to evolve the brand in both design and innovation, so we have decided to commemorate this much deserved award by launching a new range of Global Knives to be known as GLOBAL UKON.
The Story of UKON
The name ‘Ukon’ has many positive connotations in Japanese legend. Back in the 10th century, Ukon was a poetess of the mid-Heian period who became one of thirty-six immortals of poetry. In the Sixteenth Century, Takayama Ukon was a Samurai warrior who fought against anti-religious sentiment, for which he was posthumously granted sainthood in 2017.
Our favourite use of the word lies in the expression “Tachibana No Ukon” referring to the Mandarin Tree that was symbolically planted on the right-hand side of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. It was said to balance the Cherry Blossom Tree on the left-hand side, known as the ‘Sakura No Sakon’. Together, they replaced the Samurai Guards who had until then protected the Emperor but who were deemed no longer necessary during times of peace.
In true Global tradition, the UKON knife is constructed from the very best Stainless-Steel material. The blade is a little thicker and heavier than the Classic knife but is subject to even more precise grinding and finishing work, making it “even sharper out of the box”. The underside of the handle features the trademark indentations making it very comfortable to hold, whilst the ambidextrous thumb rests nearer the blade make it a joy to use for chopping herbs and vegetables.
Global and The Roux Scholarship
Global Knives were first designed in 1985 by the creative visionary, Komin Yomada. When Yomada was commissioned for this task, his mandate was to develop a range of knives that was truly new and revolutionary using the best materials available and the latest manufacturing techniques. He was to fashion a series of kitchen knives which would appeal to the professional and amateur chef alike, be comfortable and easy to handle, and meet their most demanding requirements.
At the same time Global Knives launched its first series in 1985, two talented young chefs from France, Albert and Michel Roux established The Roux Scholarship, a competition to reward and encourage new generations of young, enthusiastic cooks to follow in their footsteps and raise the standards of cuisine in the UK. The relationship between the Global and Roux families over the years has been like a match made in heaven! The very first knives produced in the new Global Ukon series will be presented to the judges at this year’s Roux Scholarship event, including Michel and Alain Roux, Brian Turner, Sat Bains, James Martin, Angela Hartnett and Clare Smyth.
In celebrating our success and the launch of Global Ukon, we want to at the same time demonstrate our support and admiration for all those who work in the Hospitality Sector, and who may have suffered during this pandemic. 2020 has been a devastating year for the Hospitality Industry in the UK. Most restaurants have had to shut their doors for the majority of time since the lockdown in March. Many chefs and workers in the industry have lost their jobs and livelihoods, and experienced unprecedented and undeserved hardship. Our hearts go out to all those who have been thus affected. We plan to donate £5 to Hospitality Action, for every Global UKON knife sold between April and September this year.
From professional chefs to home cooks, the Global Knives community stretched far and wide and we know there’s no ‘Winner Fits All’ solution when it comes to cooking. We invite you to make the move from Icon to Ukon.
Click here to view the full UKON collection.