East meets West with Koi Knives, a South Australian company that pairs Australian woods with Japanese Damascus steel to create styled chef knives with a unique flair. Offering custom made designer knives, Koi Knives combine stunning Australian flora with high quality steel to bring a kitchen utensil like no other to the International culinary stage.
Classic Japanese style knives such as the Deba, Nakiri and Sujihiki have been paired with Australian woods such as Platypus Gum, Mallee root, Bottlebrush and Banksia pod, and contrasting colourful resins.
Koi Knives was established two years ago and has been making its way into kitchens around the globe with a worldwide customer base. The South Australian based business was created by friends Ramon Elzinga and Shannon Dolman who grew up together in the Adelaide Hills. They’ve combined their passion for cooking with their experience in the steel industry and interest in Japanese art and culture.
“Our vision has been to produce something unique using local wood and plants, which are quintessentially Australian, to create a high quality and aesthetically pleasing knife for both kitchen professionals and everyday passionate foodies and home cooks like ourselves,” said Shannon.
“We have combined stunning South Australian flora with the highest-quality steel, as used by the Japanese for thousands of years. No two knives will ever be the same as customers can select their preferred blade and handle, and have their name or initials engraved to make each knife truly personalised and one of a kind.”
The handles are sourced by a South Australian arborist who stablises the unrefined woods to harden them using colourful resins, resulting in each block being completely unique. Collections have included:
- The Japanese Knife Collection (Gyuto, Bunka and Petty knives)
- The Home Collection (Gyuto, Bunka, Kiritsuke, Paring, Petty and serrated blade knives)
- The K-Tip Collection (Kiritsuke, Paring and serrated blade knives)
More recently, Koi Knives has partnered with the wine and beer industry, adding to its range of unique kitchen tools with a hidden story.
Following the devastating Adelaide Hills bushfires in 2019, Koi Knives created beauty from this natural disaster by using burnt vines to craft into handles for Japanese style half tang kitchen knives.
Lenswood vineyard and winery, Anderson Hill, had about 45% of its vineyards burnt in the fires. Owners Ben and Clare Anderson were delighted with the final product as from the ashes of this tragedy, their burnt vines were cast in colourful resins to create a truly unique and artistic design.
Koi Knives has also teamed-up with South Australian brewing company Pirate Life, this time making a range of vibrant and exclusive knives with handles made from beer hops. IPA beer hops were individually rolled in resin to create this exclusive, once-off range.
While seeking to provide a sleek, stylish, high-quality and pleasurable kitchen companion to passionate cooks and food enthusiasts, Koi Knives also has an underlying humanitarian objective.
With Ramon and Shannon both being fathers of two, family values are incredibly important to them. Providing their wives and children with delicious and nutritious meals is something they both enjoy but also realise is not a privilege enjoyed by all.
“We love making knives and we love using them,” explained Ramon. “However, with all the work that goes into making them, they are a high end product, almost a piece of jewellery in the kitchen. This is wonderful for those that can afford it, but for those who cannot, it does nothing.”
“We realised over time we weren’t just making beautiful knives – we have been focusing on making dining experiences, particularly with family, a more wonderful moment.”
With this in mind, Koi Knives has previously donated to Foodbank, the largest hunger relief organisation in Australia. It has also donated to local sporting and charitable organisations.
To learn more about Koi Knives and see the full available range visit https://www.koiknives.com/
This post was sponsored by Koi Knives.