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Sharpie du Jour

I’ve known for a while now that Sharpie markers are used for a wide range of purposes.  From the day to day things like taking notes and writing letters, to customizing outfits and fashion accessories, to all kinds of home decor and wall art, to gift giving and gift wrapping, the list goes on… and while I’ve done the whole labeling my tupperware, files and folders, for whatever reason, it never crossed my mind that a chef could fall madly in love with Sharpie markers too!

In fact, blogger @BehindTheKnife brought this to my attention the other day (thanks Knifey!) I checked out the blog and yes, in fact CHEFS DO LOVE SHARPIE! Don’t believe me, see for yourself.  The post is titled “The Love Tool: I Heart My Sharpies!”

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For a quick summary, four tops chefs were asked to tell their love of Sharpie markers…

1) Personal chef, Charity Dasenbrock of Santa Cruz, California, says “They’re  invaluable for my food labels since they’re highly visible and waterproof. My current client also likes things color-coded, so all the food for one meal gets labeled in one color while another meal gets a different color, which makes it fun for me”

2) Executive chef at The Boathouse Restuarant in Traverse City, MI, Eric Nittolo reveals, “The Sharpie is as important as my knife…”  Keeping it in his coat pocket, this chef uses a Sharpie to date products, write ticket orders, write on dry erase boards and even the front of the house uses Rectractable Sharpie markers to take reservations. 

“They are mere Sharpies to some but to the restaurant world they are special.”

 -Chef Eric Nittolo

3) “Because the kitchen is such a fast-paced wet/dry environment, I need something that I can count on to stay put when I write. I like to know that when I label something or set the rotation that I don’t have to worry about it disappearing..” proclaims Executive Chef Christian Thornton of Atria Restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard.  Using his Sharpie for multiple reasons, this chef  “gets upset when one walks off.”  Therefore, Thornton says, “I store them in my pockets, in every free space in the kitchen and at the hostess stand. I am never without.” 

4) Self-proclaimed Sharpie lover, Ivan Pahk, executive chef at Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Kapalua & Kihei, Maui, carries a Sharpie at all times.  “I have one in my collar at least 16 hours a day. I have one in my office, I have one roped up in the kitchen.”

While you’re at it, Behind the Knife also has a couple other recent posts giving Sharpie shoutouts: Check out Chef Michael Roberts sharing his Toolbox essentials in, and get an insider read on the Food Network star, Anthony Bourdain.

Do you use your Sharpie markers around the kitchen? Share your culinary expertise and tell us how!