At Clinton Hill’s new kitchenware store Knife And Spork, everything from the multi-purpose pocket knives and titanium sporks to the bamboo bowls and cast iron tea kettles is “strong enough for a woman, but made for a man.”
So says owner Symon Chow, who opened up shop on November 25 with the idea of providing men — and women — with a personally curated selection of kitchen essentials. “If I don’t own it or want it, we don’t have it,” said Chow during a recent visit to the corner storefront, located at 602 Myrtle Avenue on the corner of Taaffe Place.
On Chow’s personal and professional wishlist is, from the looks of it, a really intriguing and cool mix of the everyday and the outdoorsy, all with sleek yet simple design aesthetics.
“I have a background in design and photography and went to culinary school, so our A to Z is very practical and design-y, but at the same time, I’m trying to get more local stuff, so there are a lot of handmade items,” said Chow. “We try to stay as green as we can and be responsible. It’s this big picture of sustaining yourself outside.
“I like cooking outside and it was hard to find these things in stores,” the Prospect Heights resident added, explaining his inspiration to open Knife and Spork. “I want this to be a destination store and a place where locals come to pick up a variety of items. I want to give customers a source to feel, to know what they’re getting right in front of them.”
That hands-on, DIY approach comes through in his inventory.
So yes, there are knives, but there are dozens of types, from pocket knives for camping — complete with corkscrews, spoons, knives, clamps, and other uses — to both starter and higher-end carving knives for all skill sets. And yes, there are sporks, but far removed from the plastic disposables that many of us remember from our public school cafeteria days (I’m partial to the small bamboo sporks that are the perfect size for hors d’oeuvres and scraping at an Italian ice cup).
But there are also bamboo carving bowls and plates, brand name mixers and food processors, hemp denim aprons, butcher blocks, mortars and pestles, slateboards, and middlers for your cocktail. And prices are “competitively priced so that people will buy it,” from $1 on up.
That sense for quality also comes with a sense of humor: Chow’s inventory even includes cake pan molds in the shape of Darth Vader’s and C3PO’s faces, which seem remarkably at home next to antique taxidermied animal heads — including a raccoon wearing a king’s crown (it is an awesome conversation starter).
And there’s more to come, as Chow is constantly curating according to customer wants and seasonal needs.
Knife and Spork is open Tuesdays through Sundays between noon and 7 p.m.