Chef's Corner: Slicing vs. chopping

His first recommendation is to always use a sharp chef's knife.

Use the techniques from last week's lesson. Hold the knife correctly and use your guiding hand as a "claw" to hold the vegetable.

Make sure your cutting board will not slip on the table top or counter. Professional cooks often place a damp washcloth or hand towel under the cutting board to keep it securely in place.

Chop: Usually a bigger cut than a dice or mince and doesn't have to be uniform. Use a "rolling" motion by keeping the tip of the knife on the cutting board and lifting the knife up, then down and up again.

Slice: Again, use the "rolling" motion and don't stop. Keep the slices at a consistent size.

Dice: Cut into squares. They should be anywhere from -to--inch cubes. They are usually uniform and smaller than a chop and bigger than a mince.

Julienne: These are the narrow, fine "matchstick" sized pieces. Take your vegetable, such as a carrot, and cut into a 2-3-inch length. Then slice length-wise into -inch "panels." Then stack the "panels" and start slicing length-wise into matchsticks.

Mince: Use the julienne technique, but take the matchsticks and cut them again into tiny squares. Chiffonade: Usually to cut herbs. Roll up the herb and then slice it very thinly.