HOME - INTERVIEW
Thursday, December 13, 2018
Bassel A. Siblini
HOME - INTERVIEW
by Mehmet Kaplan
During the preparation process, knives are the most important assistant of us in the kitchen. We want them to be sharp, ergonomic, and durable. Being aware of this, Bassel A. Siblini and Akos Venesz come up with the idea to create a knife brand that could meet these demands of the users. And at the end of their researches, they decided to produce 67-layered Damascus steel knives. I talked with Bassel A. Siblini about his career and the features of Pacific67 knives.
Bassel, before talking about Pacific67, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Bassel A. Siblini?
I’m someone who’s always been fascinated by smart design. But before that, I made a career for myself working in advertising and marketing, eventually becoming a Marketing food & Drink consultant. I’m a passionate homecook, and I spend a lot of my free time in the kitchen, prepping, cooking, testing and experimenting with different kitchen appliances and products.
When did you first become interested in knives? How did you decide to establish Pacific67?
As my passion for cooking grew, so did my passion for knives. You cannot improve your kitchen game with subpar tools. I started collecting expensive knives, but always felt that there was something missing. Akos, my partner in the company and longtime friend, came over for dinner once, and we got talking about his work in industrial design, and how it would be cool to launch a new product. And just like that, Pacific67 was born.
Akos Venesz and Bassel A. Siblini
Could you tell us about Pacific67 and your team?
Pacific67 innovation studio is about creating stylish kitchen tools that fit today’s requirements and lifestyle. We have a new generation of people that want to move away from traditionalist, one size fits all design, onto more innovative products and that’s the space we want to be in.
We are still in the infancy stage of the company, with 4 people: Akos Venesz as head of Design, Fernando Miranda as head of content, a person in support & logistics and myself in management, sales, operations and everything else.
What is Damascus Steel? Is it different from standard steel only because of its style or are there any other technical differences?
Damascus steel is the current era name for pattern welded steel. Simply put, a hard piece metal usually called the cutting core is engulfed in multiple layers of a softer steel. The benefit of this technique from a technical standpoint is dual: Hard edge for a sharper blade and protected spine and body for a sturdier, less brittle knife.
It also helps that the finished product is incredibly beautiful.
Could you tell us about the distinctive features of Pacific67 knives?
Absolutely. Our knives are built on 4 core values: Quality, Function, Comfort, and Aesthetics.
We sourced the best materials that we can. VG-10 steel from Japan, long considered as the gold standard for knife making and colored Pakkawood from Taiwan.
Then, we spent hundreds of hours in the kitchen with Chefs to identify blade profiles that would deliver on function. We designed the handles to fit perfectly in both bigger and smaller hands, reducing friction and wrist fatigue, all the while keeping the aesthetic element in the back of our heads.
You have paid attention not only to the sharpness of the knives but also to the ergonomics of use. Could you tell us about the result?
Of course. We knew to come in that we wanted to design a knife that was fun to use in the kitchen.
So we identified a profile that would be universal enough for everyone to use.
The curved belly in each of the knives makes the rocking motion smooth and uninterrupted, all the while leaving enough action for the chopping motion, traditionally favored by Asian Chefs.
We also made sure to eliminate hard edges from the handles. As soon as you grab one of our knives, you will feel an incredible sense of confidence and comfort.
How many different types of knives do you have in the Pacific67 collection?
In our first collection titled “ORIGINALS”, we have the following knives: 8” Chef Knife, 5” utility knife, 10” Slicer, 8” Bread knife, 3.5” Bird’s beak, 8” honing steel, carving fork and knife block.
We also have a 4 piece steak knife set Perfect for gifting.
There is a sharpening stone in your collection. Is it safe to use for non-professional users?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe and very simple to use. Just go on Youtube and will find hundreds of tutorial videos.
We recommend sharpening stones because they help you achieve and maintain factory level sharpness forever. Literally.
Our knives have a 5-year warranty and are built to last. If you take care of them.
How often do you add a new knife to your collection? Do you accept custom orders?
We do custom orders for restaurants. COYA International, a high-end Peruvian restaurant, and one of our first clients in Monaco, London and Dubai has regular orders on customized steak knives.
We could not be happier to be featured in such a fantastic international restaurant.
It’s something that we enjoy doing because it showcases the versatility of products and processes.
Should we wait for new designs? Do you have new sketches on the drawing table?
Absolutely! We have 3 new projects in the pipeline, one that should launch in Q1 2019.
We are calling it the X-line for now, and will bring in a new innovative solution for a problem that has been trending for quite some time. Can’t say more! Stay Tuned!
We are also working on a more traditional Japanese line and experimenting with resin & G10 applications in handles.
What do you think about the power of social media on buyer's decisions? How can our readers follow Pacific67?
Incredible power. A lot of our new customers find us on Instagram or read reviews on us on Facebook.
We post a lot of fresh content on our page, generated by ourselves but also by friends of the company. We also consistently run contests and award our fans knives and accessories. We just recently ran a competition and gave away steak knife sets.
You can follow us on Facebook (Pacific67) and Instagram (@pacific67knives) and you may win great prizes!
How can our readers buy Pacific67 knives?
Directly on our website www.pacific67.com.
We are running an ongoing 25% discount for the holidays season on limited quantities that anyone can access by using the code Holidays25% at checkout.
What is next for you?
We are working very hard to develop the business by extending our portfolio into creating new products that matter and expand our distribution network, and geographic reach as much as possible.
For the next few years, we will continue to innovate in the kitchen before moving into other consumer design segments.
Thank you Bassel.