{Sponsored Review} Emeril 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block Set

Emeril 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block from JCPenney - Photo by Taste As You Go

This set of knives was provided to me at no cost. I did not accept monetary compensation for writing about the knives or about my experiences while using them. All opinions expressed are my own.

If you're anything like me, then one of the first things you purchased for your first grown-up kitchen was a knife block set. An assortment of knives and, potentially, a pair of kitchen shears all stored neatly in a block of wood that, let's face it, looked damn good sitting out on the counter. Just looking at it made you want to chop something.

Emeril 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block from JCPenney - Photo by Taste As You Go

Emeril 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block from JCPenney - Photo by Taste As You Go

How do you know which knife block set to buy? Wandering through the kitchen section of JCPenney might lead you to buy this 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block Set by Emeril Lagasse. After all, such a well-renowned chef wouldn't put his name on something that wasn't of the highest quality, right?

For $80, you'll get a set of stamped knives, which are cut out of a sheet of stainless steel and can take an edge well. If you're just starting out in the kitchen, then stamped knives are fine and much more affordable. Forged knives -- the best knives -- are investment pieces (i.e. expensive), so save your money for the those knives for when you're more comfortable handling a blade.

Emeril 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block from JCPenney - Photo by Taste As You Go

4.5" Steak Knife from Emeril 15-Piece Stamped Cutlery Block Set from JCPenney - Photo by Taste As You Go

As you can see, each slot in the knife block is labeled with the name of the knife for convenience. The knives themselves are also labeled, in case there's any major confusion as to where each knife goes. At first, I thought that detail was a nice touch. Clever and helpful.

But after looking at the knife block for a while, I don't like the way the black text detracts from the beauty of the natural wood. Granted, the words aren't that visible when all of the knives are in place, but I still know they're there. (This, I'm sure, won't be a big deal to most of you.)

All that aside, I do have a criticism about these knives. After less than one month of use, I noticed a significant chip in the 8" chef knife, the one I used the most out of the set. Now, you guys know that I know what I'm doing in the kitchen and I'm not about to use a knife for something it wasn't intended to do.

Needless to say, finding the chip put me in a foul mood. After several attempts to sharpen the chip out, it's still there. I know, I know... I could take it to an expert, but... really? I need to call in an expert after using the thing for less than a month?

I think that's a little ridiculous. And a little disappointing considering these knives have Emeril's name on them. Like many other blocks of knives, this set looks good on the counter, but I don't think it'll be sitting in our kitchen for too much longer.

ETA 9-14-12 9:07AM: It looks like there may be a bigger reason to question the quality of Emeril Lagasse's knives. He and Martha Stewart have been hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit and are being accused of copyright infringement.

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