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Scott Staib wasn’t supposed to make knives; he was supposed to be a chef. After his training at Johnson & Wales University, Scott set out to rise through the culinary ranks. His first stop was an ultra-swanky country club where he proved his mettle as the sauté and grill chef. Next was his gig as sous chef for Aramark Food Service Corporation. He was on the fast track in foodservice when he was sidelined by tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome—a result of the repetitive motion injuries caused by frequent chopping and slicing. Without a fully-functioning wrist, Staib could not cook his dinner, let alone advance his career.
He was not alone.
Scott found that he was not the only chef—professional or home—to suffer from tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. He enrolled his engineer brother, Mike, to help find the solution. They worked closely with designers at the family’s design and machining company in New England to examine how a conventional knife fits in a chef’s hand, the movement of a chef’s wrist and hand during chopping and the angle at which a knife hits the cutting board. Together, they crafted a knife that was a true extension of a chef’s hand.
After just three weeks of using the ergonomically-designed knives, Scott’s persistent tendonitis and carpal tunnel symptoms disappeared. He created 50 prototypes of the knives and sent them to professional chefs, student chefs and culinary professors across the country. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and Ergo Chef was born in 2002.
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