Michael Psilakis wants to keep New Yorkers sharp in the kitchen

Pack your knives and don’t even think of ordering Seamless.

Chef Michael Psilakis wants to make the most of your tiny New York City kitchen.

And that includes maybe not ordering takeout from one of his restaurants. 

“I want to revolutionize the way we cook,” Psilakis told amNewYork over a generous plate of his stuffed grape leaves at Kefi. 

And to start? Cutting. 

If you’re guilty of using your kitchen drawers for additional, non-cookware-related storage, you may want to make space for Psilakis’s new line of knives with FINI.

The short-handled, sharp knives — the “first of their kind” said Psilakis  — are designed to be easier to hold the proper way, while also saving drawer space. 

“Organically, once you grab this knife it’s going to feel a lot more comfortable, it’s going to give you a lot more control, you’re going to be able to slice and cut and dice a lot more efficiently, and it will also be a lot safer for you,” Psilakis said. “It takes the intimidation of the knife, especially for the home cook, away.”

Psilakis paid close attention to what knives his wife, a home cook but not a trained chef, selected from their drawer, and used her feedback as the model for his short-handled knife. 

Most untrained cooks will counterintuitively grab the knife at the start of the handle, as demonstrated when asking this reporter-not-chef to hold a standard chef’s knife. 

Psilakis’s FINI knives have a much shorter handle, forcing the user to place her thumb on the side of the blade and not make a fist, which is proper knife technique. 

“This chef’s knife teaches you how to cook without taking a lesson,” Psilakis said. 

Ideally, if home cooks can cut more efficiently and comfortably, preparing food will feel less daunting and tedious. 

Give a girl a knife, she chops salads for a lifetime. 

Psilakis’s knives will slice into the market by the end of this year. Until then, you can taste his cooking at Kefi, Fishtag, MP Taverna and The Hall for flavor and chopping inspiration. 

And if you want to peek into the kitchen to see how he and his cooks execute your knife skills, don’t hesitate to ask. 

Melissa Kravitz