In honor of Lord Shiva Pasupati, creator of iron, steel and weapons.
Based on the Balinese lunar calendar, Tumpek (Saturday) Landep (sharpen) is held once every 210 days precisely on Saniscara Wage Wuku Landep. This year 22nd of March.
As with all important ceremonies, the day starts way before sunrise. First, the keris of the house temple is thoroughly cleaned and polished followed by the other krises and weapons. They are then wrapped in pieces of new cloth, blessed with handcrafted offerings and sprinkled with holy water. Prayers and offerings are made to ask for Shiva´s help via his manifestation and the manifold benefits it brings to humankind.
In the past, the Tumpek Landep ceremony was solely dedicated to weapons made of steel, such as the Keris daggers, spears and swords, and especially weapons that were vested with magical powers. With the passing of time the ritual was extended to include nearly all objects made of metal such as motorbikes, cars, working tools, and even the laptop I’m using to write this.
The goals of the ceremony are twofold: on one hand, Lord Pasupati is honored and on the other, operational functions are maintained, thus helping day-to-day usage. Foremost it reminds the Balinese to sharpen their minds and hearts to fight the evil behaviors within the self.
It’s been quite some time since our last blog entry and the reason why is because we have been working on a new series of stainless steel knives. In collaboration with Master Chef Ryan Clift and Germany’s most traditional, and in our opinion finest, manufacturer of kitchen knives, we created a one-of-a-kind knife set.
Does a knife designed in Asia by two Austrians and an English chef, and hand-made in Germany sound crazy to you? Not to us! When it comes to manufacturing such a product with as much soul as a hand-forged knife made by our master blacksmith, then there is only one company left in Solingen who can provide this craftsmanship.
Herder Windmühlen Messer is our collaborator on this project. Brought together by a mutual respect for each other’s work, we formed a partnership this past August.
The company, founded by Robert Herder in 1872, is now managed by fourth generation Herders, Giselheid Herder-Scholz and Frank-Daniel Herder. It is such a pleasure to see them hand shaping the knives to perfection using machines that are 80 years and older. Rather than shipping these classic machines off to a museum or allowing them to gather dust, Herder uses them with pride. While other brands from Solingen have outsourced their production to China or replaced workmanship with mass production, Herder maintains the craftsmanship tradition.
For our new series of knives, we chose to use the M390 super steel from Böhler. The M390 is metallurgical powder steel originated from Kapfenberg, Austria (a city 20 minutes away from the birthplace of Arnold Schwarzenegger), and we can promise you it has some unbelievable strength!
The M390 knife steel is like Ryan’s cooking philosophy: In order to get the best, you must first break down everything to its smallest parts and then rebuild it to a higher form.
For all of you who are looking for some nice Christmas gifts, it’s better to be patient and save your money for the 2014 Tippling Club Series.
In early 2008, Ryan moved to Singapore to start his own venture, determined to take modern food and cocktail pairing to a new level. It was there that Ryan and his team launched Tippling Club. Within its first two years of operation, Tippling Club quickly earned its reputation as one of Singapore’s top restaurants. In the 2009 Phaidon cookbook entitled Coco, Ryan was handpicked by ten of the world’s greatest chefs as the gastronomic superstar of tomorrow.
We met Ryan for the first time in April and asked if he wanted to join Blades of the Gods as one of our brand ambassadors, and if he would be interested in creating a series of kitchen knives with his preferences of shape and geometry. Ryan’s love for Austrian wines and weekend trips to Bali seemed to connect us immediately.
We are very happy and proud to work with such an innovative and humble guy like Ryan.
Watch out for some upcoming news about the Tippling Club series of kitchen knives!
Heinz Reitbauer was born in 1970 during the early days of the Steirereck Restaurant. The Steirereck, one of the largest gastronomic institutions in Austria, was founded by Heinz’s parents, who built it from a corner neighborhood eatery into Austria’s first four toques restaurant.
Heinz spent several years working his way upwards through various positions in the Steirereck. In 1996, the Reitbauer family launched its second endeavor, the Pogush Country Inn, located in the green heart of Styria. He took the helm of the new restaurant as Head Chef and cooked up two toques in the first year.
In 2005, Heinz Reitbauer moved the Steirereck from its home of 35 years in Weißgerbe Lände to the Stadtpark, and became the head of both places. The new location is a jewel of art nouveau architecture in one of the most beautiful parts of Vienna, close to the famous statue of Johann Strauss.
Drawing on produce from local farmers as well as from his own farm, Grand Chef Heinz Reitbauer creates the very finest of contemporary Austrian cuisine in a relaxed, chic setting. He especially enjoys serving up all kinds of freshwater fish, preferably from local waters, which feature prominently on the Steirerecks menu.
Born into a family business, Heinz learned from the best. He not only created his own Neo-Austrian cuisine with a historical bent, but has also become one of the world’s most renowned and respected chefs. Heinz credits the help of his lovely wife Birgit Reitbauer, who is the host of the Steirereck, as well as the 95 members of his strong and perfectly skilled team. He also cites his most influential mentors as the Obauer Brothers, Alain Chapel, Anton Mosimann and Helmut Österreicher.
His cuisine is crowned with four toques, two Michelin stars and 19 Gault Millau points. In the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, the Steirereck ranks number nine. In addition, Chef Heinz Reitbauer’s pure and brilliant, yet refined, regional cuisine received the first ever Slow Food Award in 2012 from the World’s Best Academy.
Calf tail, Rosa Bianca Aubergine, Elderberry and Sumac
Roebuck from Hochschwab on fresh Marchfelder baby Artichokes
Medlar, Viollets and Crepes
Peter Troissinger, executive chef at hotel Massenet in Shanghai, recently
took over the culinary experience of the restaurants guests by creating
not only fantastic tasting dishes but also amazingly and colorful presented.
Peter joined Blades of the Gods as one of our brand ambassadors earlier this year.
He has been working with our Shastra Chef’s Knife and he is loving it. Please also
watch out for his top of the edge cutting and serving boards called Woodi.
Below mouthwatering pictures of some kitchen highlights.
Lobster Salad with Parma Ham, Sweet Corn, Celeriac & Vanilla Vinegar
Venison with Parmesan Crème Garden Radish’s and Carrot Peanut Sauce
Pigeon & Duck Liver with Chioggia Beets, Sweet Potatoes & fermented Black Garlic
Duck with Red Cabbage Marjoram, Parsnip Biscuit & Lemon-Chili jam
Passion Fruit Cremeux, Snow Egg Island, Mango Comport, Mango Sorbet