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As a lot of people who know me will tell you, I always carry about a dozen knives with me.

It's not like I'm one of those guys who you meet in the street with twelve "Rolex" watches wrapped around his arm… mine aren't for sale. They are my buddies. My friends. Hey, you take your dog for a walk, or have him jump in the truck when you go down to the local hardware, don't you? So why can't I take my favorite knives with me?

I also take a special hand-made knife and fork set (a few of which I have here in my collectibles section).

One day a good friend from Japan named Mako invited me out for dinner. Now I'll tell you right now… I'm not a sushi kind of guy. I don't eat anything that I can bait on a hook, only the stuff you catch with the bait! But he took me instead to an amazing restaurant high above the LA Skyline in Little Tokyo.

A little sake… okay, a lot of sake later, and I was ready not only for the raw fish, but the hook, the line AND the sinker! However, when I was trying to impress one of the stunningly beautiful Japanese waitress by pulling out a few of my "friends" for her to see (I'm talking about my knives… get your minds out of the gutter!)… she looked at me and said in perfect English: "Yes, well that's all fine and good, but why don't you have your own set of hand-made chopsticks?!"

I was dumbstruck. She was right! A few days later when fully recovered from the sake night, I started to create the first of a limited series of custom hand-made, one-of-a-kind knife and chopstick sets. I call it my East "Meats" West Collection.

Each set will be different depending on what materials I decide to put into them. I dedicate them to that beautiful Japanese waitress with the perfect speech, and the perfect body… wherever she is. And with this in hand… you'll be fully prepared for ANY kind of cuisine… and will never be, like I was, caught with your kimono down!

                                                                  Chuck Stapel

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