Quite a surprise to see my Bâtard Folding Picnic Knife from Lamson and Goodnow featured in the May 2013 issue of Bon Appetite Magazine. (Because I am always bringing bread especially my baguettes to friends, I needed a portable knife. It occurred to me that a serrated knife would be perfect in a folding format. And main bien sur, everyone needs a corkscrew for the wine you’re going to serve with the bread.) A Bâtard is not what you think but a more stout baguette, the kind you’re likely to use when making something like a Pan Bagnat sandwich. (Here’s a fun article and recipe from Pat Wells on the snack of Provence.)
I drew the concept on a sheet of paper and showed it to a few colleagues in the knife business. One suggested I approach the folks at Lamson, who quickly developed the prototype.
Here’s the story behind the knife from the package.
“As a baker and author of The Best Bread Ever; Charles Van Over is expected to show up everywhere with an armful of bread. Whilst Charles enjoys breaking bread with friends; he does insist that the bread is properly sliced with a bread knife, not just ripped apart. The problem is that bread knives are very long and with their serrated edges they are not the easiest of things to carry around. Charles wondered why a folding bread knife could not be produced and took his idea for a pocket bread knife to Lamson & Goodnow, American manufacturers of the LamsonSharp range. The Bâtard Folding Picnic knife is the result of this collaboration, possibly be the best picnic knife ever made! The French word bâtard is a shorter and thicker type of baguette. The knife, of course, will cut everything including cheese, salami, roast chicken, fruit, vegetables – virtually anything. And since you cannot have a picnic without wine it also has an integral corkscrew.”