THE OUTLAW
A GREAT CHEF IS
patient in the kitchen
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DUDE, SWEET CHOCOLATE
Katherine Clapner

If there’s one thing that Katherine Clapner’s chocolate creations prove is that there’s a fine line between creativity and madness. After working in kitchens around the world, all roads led this classically-trained pastry chef back home to Texas. She opened her first chocolate shop in Dallas in 2009 and she’s been thriving ever since. It’s here that her twisted genius takes flight and where the only rules that apply are nobody’s rules but her own.

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Meet the outlaw

“To me, defining the Edgë is all about defying definitions and educating with passion. That’s what it’s about, changing perceptions and turning people on to things that they wouldn’t normally buy or taste. We always tell people to try something that sounds unusual or something that they’ve never heard of before because the end result is not nearly as weird as what it says on the label. It’s there for a reason. The more people learn about other cultural cuisines and about how other ingredients are paired, the better it is for all chefs.”

 

Katherine's required reading

"The New International Confectioner: Confectionery, Cakes, Pastries, Desserts and Ices, Savouries by Wilfred J. Fance “Terrible photographs. Supreme techniques. It’s been out of print for 50 years, but it’s the be-all and end-all of all things pastry. My father bought it for me over 15 years ago and it cost $250 even back then.”

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Source of inspiration

“Who the hell knows where it comes from? I certainly don’t, but I’m happy it’s still coming! Inspiration has come to me from my friends, from places I’ve visited, from folk art, music and movies. The names of my chocolates are a play on what’s inside and are often named after some of my friends, Monty Python skits, and anything that pokes fun of pop culture.”

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Kathrine´s recommendations
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Classic Schwarz
Cook's knife
The all-rounder in the kitchen: the most important piece of basic equipment for every hobby and professional chef, the Cook’s Knife is suitable for most tasks in the kitchen, for the widest variety of cutting and gripping techniques, it makes food prepping a pleasure.
Classic Schwarz
Bread knife
A classic amongst the range of knives that belong in every kitchen: as well as bread, this knife is suitable for use on hard-skinned vegetables and fruit, as well as for roasts, especially those with crackling. The concave (inwardly curved), serrated edge of the knife works like the teeth of a saw, but is much finer, so no pressure is required to cut any sort of bread and even a hard crust will allow a clean cut.
Classic Schwarz
Nakiri
The Japanese vegetable knife: extremely versatile and suitable for tasks such as cutting, dicing or chopping. Its shape is reminiscent of a cleaver but should not be confused with it as a Nakiri is not suitable for rough tasks (such as splitting bones). The very sharp and finely ground blade is more designed to prep vegetables, herbs and fruit very quickly and finely. The dimpled edge of the knife (slight depressions in the blade that allow small pockets of air to form) prevents ingredients from sticking.
Classic Schwarz
Fish fillet knife
For use on fish, meat and fruit: while Boning Knives or Cleavers are more suitable for coarser tasks, especially for meat, the Filleting Knife, with its flexible blade, is particularly suitable for wafer-thin filleting. Precision cutting of meat, loosening the fish fillet from the skin or peeling fruit – these are the Fish Filleting Knife's special talents.
Classic Schwarz
Cook's knife
The all-rounder in the kitchen: the most important piece of basic equipment for every hobby and professional chef, the Cook’s Knife is suitable for most tasks in the kitchen, for the widest variety of cutting and gripping techniques, it makes food prepping a pleasure.
Classic Schwarz
Paring knife
Small, versatile knife with slim blade and plain edge: this Vegetable / Larding Knife is made for cutting onions and herbs and is also useful for chopping, cleaning and decorating fruits and vegetables. With its sharp, pointed blade, this Vegetable Knife also works well as a larding knife.
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The chocolate coffin
It took 3 days and 40 pounds of chocolate, but Katherine made one man's dying wish come true — to be buried in a chocolate coffin.
Advice for aspiring chefs

“My advice for somebody getting started in this business would be to work everywhere you possibly can, and work as hard as you can because it only gets harder once it’s yours. Learn by listening. If you want to really cook and excel, you have to learn to ‘eat a lot of crow’ and do it for the love, not the money, as that is reserved for a select.”

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