The Japanese Santoku knife is a double-bevel power tool that can mince the mirepoix and sweep it into the pan in one graceful gesture. Thanks to food globalism and Rachael Ray, who’s never seen without hers, Santokus are becoming increasingly popular in America. We asked chef Masayoshi “Masa” Takayama to rank ten of them, and the Shun Classic 6.5-inch knife was his No. 1 pick ($94.98 at Broadway Panhandler, 477 Broome St., nr. Greene St.; 212-966-3434). It’s made by Kai, one of Japan’s oldest knife companies, using the “Damascus technique”—layers of steel painstakingly sharpened to a fearsome edge, leaving a beautiful moiré pattern on the blade. (See also: Chef Masayoshi “Masa” Takayama’s Top Ten Santoku Knives)
A Retro-Modern Windbreaker for Spring Weather
Original Penguin’s nylon-cotton windbreaker transitions nicely from sunny days to winter evenings and folds neatly into a messenger bag ($78.99; 1077 Sixth Ave., nr. 41st St.; 646-443-3520).
Take the Work Out of Playing House
Graph paper is the best way to plan a room, but shrinking furniture to the proper dimensions is tricky. The Board Residential grid kit takes (almost) all the math out of the equation, thanks to 800 scaled magnets shaped like sofas, beds, grand pianos, and even windows and doors ($335 at Potterton Books, 979 Third Ave., nr. 58th St.; 212-644-2292).
Glasses That Won’t Sweat, Slip, or Singe
The removable cork sleeve on Ikea’s Paroll ten-ounce glasses not only absorbs perspiration from cold drinks and heat from hot ones, it also acts as a built-in coaster ($2.99 each; 1000 Ikea Dr., Elizabeth, N.J.; 908-289-4488).
Supersize Terrace Décor
Bauer Pottery’s large, colorful planters look fantastic with nothing inside—perfect for those with black thumbs ($250 to $400 at Frank J. Miele Gallery, 1086 Madison Ave., nr. 82st St.; 212-249-7250).
A Love Seat With Curves
This week, new pieces from Istanbul-based Autoban hit the floor at Ray 20, including this Bergere sofa in walnut or birch wood with wool or leather upholstery ($2,300 to $2,750; 52 Walker St., nr. Broadway, fourth fl.; 212-925-2235).