Top UK chef Neil Rankin has teamed up with British commercial knife brand Savernake Knives to design what it calls the “ultimate bespoke barbecue knife set”.
Mr Rankin, who runs two Temper restaurants in London, worked alongside Savernake directors Laurie Timpson and Philip Shaw during the design and prototype stages of the project, which aimed to combine the Wiltshire brand’s revolutionary manufacturing design and technology with the chef’s extensive knowledge of high-end barbecue.
His love affair with charcoal cooking began early in his career and led him onto launching Temper, which specialises in unique barbecue and open fire pit cooking over wood and charcoal.
Mr Rankin said he “jumped at the chance” to get involved with designing the equipment when he was approached by Savernake Knives.
“When it comes to the restaurant, I’m always looking for best-in-class producers and suppliers, but not only that, I’m incredibly passionate about working with locals. Being UK-based and true craftsmen, Laurie and Philip felt like the perfect fit for me. The knives we’ve designed and created together are all you’ll need to master the art of preparing meat and veg for the barbecue.”
Each knife within the set of four has been crafted with function in mind. The handles are made using Richlite, an eco-friendly, resin-infused, paper-based material, and feature grooves to prevent slipping when being handled with grease and fat-covered hands.
Each blade is made using Savernake Knives’ signature manufacturing methods, such as hollow-ground, a unique profile which takes weight away from the blade, resulting in an unparalleled cutting edge and follow-through feel.
The Savernake Knives X Neil Rankin ‘Ultimate Barbecue Set’ includes a boning knife, a ‘chicken’ knife, a traditional cleaver and butcher’s knife.
Mr Shaw said the company relishes the chance to work with passionate chefs to create bespoke knives, even more so when they are experts within a niche field.
“We enjoy crafting our designs to meet their needs and working in each specific nuance to ensure that functionally, the knives we design and manufacture are the world’s best. Neil brought his extensive knowledge of meat preparation to the table, and from this we tailored our designs to suit his needs. We’re incredibly proud of the set – we’re confident that it’s the ultimate.”
Mr Timpson and Mr Shaw work from an old calving barn on the edge of the Savernake Forest near Marlborough in Wiltshire, and strive to combine the best of modern technology with age-old techniques in their quest to make the very best chef knife possible.
Mr Rankin is chef/owner of both Temper restaurants in London. The first is an open pit temple to smoked meat, tacos and wine in the heart of Soho. The second is a curry and gin house in the city with a huge live fire open pit and tandoori ovens.
He started his career in Michelin level fine dining establishments, working with chefs such as Michael Wignall and Nuno Mendes, before discovering his love for meat and fire whilst working for BBQ guru Adam Perry Lang.
Mr Rankin went on to open Pitt Cue company, relaunch John Salt in Islington and then opened two Smokehouse restaurants with Noble Inns.