For the 130th anniversary of Opinel, Fred Chesneau gave us the pleasure to answer our questions.
Can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I am Fred Chesneau, Canal+ TV channel’s Globe Cooker, which means I explore world cuisine. Also, I am a chef at my restaurant in the Cyclades, on Paros. I am opening another restaurant in Paris soon.
What is your first Opinel memory?
The classic blond wood Opinel with the twisting ring. My parents gave it to me when I was 11 on the day before I went to sailing camp. They said: “It will probably come in handy!” And they were completely right. I used it to cut, disentangle and cook… but also to show off!
Many think Opinel is synonymous with expertise and something to be passed on. What values does Opinel convey to you?
Opinel has always undeniably meant resourcefulness, practicality, endurance, which are words that really sum me up. I later discovered that Opinel was also synonymous with great technicality when professional cooking is involved. The ‘Art de la Table’ collections have a chic, clean design, which is the reason why my Paros restaurant is only equipped with Opinel knives, in the kitchen as well as at my guests’ tables.
If you could only choose one Opinel, which would it be?
For me, it is definitely the Outdoor knife, as it reflects my adventurous side, but since the opening of my restaurant, I have to confess to loving the Santoku. It is my secret weapon to slice, mince, and to julienne onions, carrots, fennel and other vegetables.
Opinel in three words?
Robustness, design, history.