A Fountain of Knives:

Knives at Auberge La Fontaine

Knives hang in the kitchen of Auberge La Fontaine in Venasque, Provence, France (2004)

In 2004, I visited a tiny walled village named Venasque on top of a mountain in the Vaucluse area of Provence in southern France to take cooking lessons at an inn and restaurant called Auberge La Fontaine. At that time the inn had been run for more than 25 years by chef Christian Soehlke and his wife Ingrid. The restaurant’s pantry was diversely stocked with everything from the best French butter to tins of Indian garam masala. In this photo you see some of the pantry items but mainly the knives that hung on a magnetic rack on the wall. Many of these knives were gifts given to Christian by his students, so along with French-style boning, paring and bread knives you also see a traditional Japanese yanagiba sashimi knife with a traditional Japanese handle, a Western-style Japanese chef’s knife (gyuto) and a Global knife with the typical grip pattern on the handle.