Ask any cook—from Michelin 3-Star executive chefs to line cooks in diners to amateur gourmets at home—about their most treasured kitchen tools, and most will talk about their knives. But while a quality chef’s knife is indispensable in the kitchen, most of us don’t think of our knives as works of art. New West KnifeWorks founder Corey Milligan is on a mission to change that.
Stop by New West KnifeWorks & MTN Man Toy Shop (625 Main St, 435.649.7219), and you will think you’ve walked into an art gallery. An eye-popping array of truly beautiful culinary knives hangs on the walls in a rainbow spectrum of colors. But they aren’t from Germany or Japan—countries renowned for producing high-quality blades—they’re made just up the road in Idaho.
Milligan, a former professional restaurant cook, began making decorative and functional knife blocks and knives a couple decades ago, originally showing them at juried art shows and festivals, including the Park City Kimball Arts Festival. As good fortune would have it, he doesn’t have to work the art-show circuit anymore; his New West KnifeWorks products have been lauded everywhere from Fine Cooking and Bon Appétit to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Food & Wine, and many other culinary media outlets.
New West KnifeWorks combines up-to-the-minute technology with traditional knifemaking. The blades are made from cutting-edge powdered-metal steel that is virtually indestructible and maintains razor sharpness, while the gorgeous handles come from G-10 sheets of fiberglass cloth epoxy originally designed for Silicon Valley motherboards of supercomputers.
What does the future look like for Milligan and New West KnifeWorks? He says, “Our customers love us, and I tell my staff, ‘We just want to make the most badass sh*t that anyone has ever seen.’”