Jay Patel Grundare av Japanese Knife Company
Jay Patel; I was born in 1956 to Indian parents and educated in England, and have been in retailing from the start of my career, which began out of necessity before even completing my first year at University.
Initially I had to work and manage a very sucessful family pharmacy concern, but with a desire to be my own boss I independently established a children’s fashion brand with a retail, wholesale and manufacturing business that was eventually bought in 1987 by a publicly quoted national retailer in a multi million pound deal that gave me the opportunity at a relatively young age to explore and discover my ‘life passion’
With time on my side, I spent a couple of years travelling around the world indulging a deep interest in cooking and learning about the attitude to food in different cultures.
It was a ‘stage’ with a small Izikaya on outskirts of Tokyo that was to be the start of a life long journey of discovery and passion for mankind’s most fundamental tool – the cutting edge.
Kamiya san, the chef/patron of the humble Izikaya in Shin Matsudo, is the man I owe most to for opening the door and introducing me to a life phylosophy that has given me the contentment I enjoy today.
Risking a ‘loss of face’ if his promise of my conviction didn’t materialise, he got me an aprenticeship with one of the most respected nokaji in Japan and I spent the next decade learning and hopefully justifying Kamiya san’s trust.
In 1996. on a frequent return to London, I met Miranda and decided that it was time to come home.
Since forming Japanese Knife Company in 1997 which commenced trading in 1998 we have gone from strength to strength. In 1998 JKC was the first retailer in the UK with a website dedicated to the kitchen knife. JKC was the first, and after 17 years, is still the only UK retailer with physical shops specialising in culinary blades. JKC is responsible for introducing Ceramic knives to the UK. JKC is the company that introduced warikomi, damascus, hand made and high speed steel kitchen knives to the UK and the list goes on…..
Today, almost 25 years since that first ‘discovery’, I am more determined and commited to sharing my passion with anyone intersted in experiencing the highest levels of form in synergy with function.