ZOLTAN THE KNIFE SHARPENER
I’d been meaning to have my knives professionally sharpened for years. After seeing a Twitter conversation between a chef and @SharpAndCut (a.k.a. Zoltan Sipos) about his mobile knife sharpening business for restaurants across Cornwall, I cheekily asked Zoltan if he would come to our house. To my delight, he accepted the challenge of our blunt kitchen knives.
Armed with healthy muffins for me to try (he’d worked out I like cake), the very charming Zoltan set up his grinder in our shed and spent the morning sharpening and re-tipping around 70 knives belonging to me and my friends. The results are superb and the knives are, once more, a joy to use. (Only one plaster has been required so far, and that was a dishwasher loading injury.)
Originally from Hungary, Zoltan lives in Cornwall with his young family and his business is going from strength to strength.
Zoltan trained professionally in knife sharpening in January 2012 and can sharpen between 10 and 15 knives per hour. So far his record is approximately 100 knives in six hours at St Austell College. He is proud of his customer base, which includes regular customers Number 6 in Padstow, Fifteen Cornwall, and The Nare Hotel.
We put our 20 questions to Zoltan to see how sharp-witted he really is:
What is your earliest memory?
I’ve got a few memories as a picture or moment about my father. Unfortunately he passed away when I was three.
Where is your favourite place in Cornwall?
Kynance Cove and Minack Theatre and beach. They always hold me spellbound.
How do you spend your Sunday mornings?
Usually playing with my son and having lots of fun. He was four years old in August.
What is the last book you read?
The Man by Dr Imre Csernus. A celebrity psychiatrist’s book about life, death, relationships, emotions and a lot more for men but not just for them. Very good book! It made me think.
What is your favourite ice cream flavour?
Who do you most admire?
Jesus! Without being religious. If his story is true we must listen to him I reckon!
And my cousin Peter. I saw him build up his family band and his duo with his wife. They are incredibly talented.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever spent a night?
When I was a soldier behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ in winter time we had a military exercise. I was on guard duty in minus 10-13 degrees, three times during the night for 3 hours each duty. I had a machine gun with ball-cartridge. I could shoot anyone. It was a strange night.
Early bird or night owl?
Early bird since my son was born.
Favourite kids’ TV show?
I like watching kids’ programmes.
What is your favourite word?
Three items you’d take to a desert island?
A woman, a knife and books.
What would your superhero power be?
Flying with my wings.
What’s your greatest achievement?
My own business Sharp&Cut Mobile Knife and Scissors Sharpening Service. This is a big achievement for me. Big big thanks to my customers!!!
Cup of tea or G&T?
What would you choose for your last supper?
Duck, braised red cabbage and knedli (a Czech & Slovak steamed bread).
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
In a milk factory and earlier in a chicken factory. BBBrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Surf or turf?
I don’t like to do too much watersports.
What’s your favourite album?
Supernatural by Santana plus some AC/DC.
The best thing about living in Cornwall is…
I really appreciate living in beautiful countryside, near to the sea. Also it’s an ideal place to raise my son. Less stress,clean air, nice people!
You’ll find Zoltan outside Truro’s Cornish Food Box on the last Saturday of each month: 25th January, 22nd February, 29th March and 26th April.
Prices range from 90 pence for a 2-4″ knife to £3.50 for a blade longer than 11″. Zoltan will repair knives and sharpen steak knives, cleavers, mandolin blades, pizza wheels, scissors and shears. He will also sharpen garden sheers, plane irons and axes.
Please remember to wrap up your knives extremely carefully if you are carrying them through Truro.
You can get in touch with Zoltan by….
e-mail: [email protected]
phone: 07902348588 (7am – 9pm)