WÜSTHOF Performer


Creative chef and imaginative vegetable gardener

With my WÜSTHOF Performer Paring Knife, I not only chop fresh herbs and nutritious vegetables in my kitchen; I also use it when harvesting in my garden, because I know that the robust blade with its diamond-like coating is extremely tough and, thanks to the lotus effect, particles simply roll off it.

Chef René Steinbach on the perfect knife

The creative purist

Professional chef René loves things as nature intended. Using local ingredients, he creates accessible flavour experiences – even for the untrained palate. As a vegetable gardener, he finds inspiration in nature: And for him, the DLC blade has a remarkable natural effect: liquids pearl and roll off the blade so that acidic residues don't stand a chance.

The sustainable foresight with which chef René Steinbach works in the kitchen and in the garden, as well as his fascination for the creativity of nature, inspired him in his development work on the Performer knife series. He knows that nature is an incredible performer, always finding the best solution.

'I prefer quality over quantity – especially with knives. Performer knives with DLC blades are versatile, robust and last a lifetime. Especially nowadays, it is important to act sustainably and with foresight in all areas of life. I'm a fan of these black knives, because they are also ideal to work with in the garden – perfect knives, not just for my kitchen.'

During his training to become a butcher René first used premium knives – he learnt to prepare expensive ingredients with precision cuts. His experience with food and its preparation made him hungry for more and he soon knew that his future lay in the kitchen – so he trained to be a chef.

He moved to Cologne where he further developed his knife skills and gradually mastered the challenges he was faced with, honing his expertise as he went. He worked in numerous renowned restaurants as a sous-chef or head chef and then, in order to further develop his talent as a chef he founded a small catering company, which quickly became very popular. René has shared his love of intensive taste experiences with passionate food lovers as head chef in the cookery school and event location ‘Gastraum in der alten Zigarrenfabrik’ in Cologne, Germany, since 2013. 

‘You could wake me up in the middle of the night and I'd cook you a three-course meal! That’s no effort on my part. Cooking is a constant in my life, I don't have to prepare for it, it's just there! Cooking is passion and life, not just a job for me.’ 

With this in mind, René Steinbach happily followed his natural vocation and became one of the four professional chefs in the Performer development team who joined product designer Björn Berger and design engineer Dominic Trautmann. Being a lover of nature, he contributed his fascination for nature's creativity, and, as ‘godfather’ to the Performer Paring Knife, he continues to inspire the WÜSTHOF community with fresh ideas. 


My loyal companion

I bought my first decent knife when I finished my training. I immediately noticed what a difference working with a genuinely high-quality knife makes. I loved that knife: it was like my holy grail and I always took it home with me after work. When I’ve got comfortable with a knife, it also has sentimental value. That’s why I’m very particular with my knives and I always sharpen and hone them myself.

My new favourite is the Performer Paring Knife - it's just the right size, the handle lies comfortably in my hand and it's so easy to work with. The blade is a versatile all-rounder, especially for small ingredients, fresh vegetables and herbs.


Embarrassing, but true

As a young cook I did a brief stint on a shopping channel. I wanted to slice a coconut in half with a cleaver from the range for one of the shows, but a massive chunk of steel broke off the blade – a dangerous no-no! Now I look back and think that horror scene turned out to be a lucky moment, as it meant I was able to get out of that contract and from that moment on I only trust premium products that deliver what they promise no matter what. 


Simple, local and seasonal

My cooking style is simple, local, seasonal and spontaneous – I find inspiration at the market or in my vegetable garden. I don’t cram too many ingredients into a dish, as my guests should be able to recognise and appreciate what is on their plate – and then they should be able to cook it for themselves at home. Guests should never be overwhelmed by a dish, they should always be able to taste the ingredients that have been used. That's why I usually use local, seasonal ingredients, or those straight from my vegetable garden.

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