After months of searching, I found a knife skills class. Years of watching TV chefs chop, mince dice, julliene and chiffonade *in that way of theirs* made me yearn to attempt the same.
The four-hour intensive class was taught by Dish Cooking Studio's Charmaine and Elena--very fun and encouraging people. As with the other session I'd taken, we broke into groups and prepared a meal.
I took a solo project: ratatouille. Lots of chopping. I took my favourite knife along--I'm comfortable with it and I find many other knives too heavy. The instructors approved. One of them asked me if I cook a lot because apparently my method of doing things was that of someone who knew their way around a kitchen (lala!). Then I got to cut up a chicken (something I've never been good at).
Because of this course I've decided the next addition to my knife collection will be a Santoku. It slices very nicely.
By the end of the session we feasted on quite the meal: braised fennel, cabbage salad, Belgian frites with aioli, two types of chicken, flank steak, lemon gremolata and (of course) the ratatouille. Very filling and very tasty.