Back when I was a caterer, I always traveled with my knives and a few choice tools all rolled up in a bulky, homemade knife kit made from heavy canvas. It was clumsily sewn and invariably things would slip out of their proper place and get mixed together, or worse, lost. At the time, I would have killed for this sleek, compact traveler's set from Wüsthof. The kit contains a choice assortment of essentials—a classic 6" chef's knife, a 5" serrated utility knife (perfect for slicing through a crusty baguette), a 3½" paring knife, their best shears, a key chain-sized knife sharpener, and as a bonus, a sommelier-quality corkscrew—with room to boot for extra tools. Even though my days as a professional traveling chef are over, I throw this kit in my tote whenever I'm camping, traveling for a long weekend, or cooking at a friend's house where I suspect the knives might be, well, not so sharp. Wherever I'm cooking, I know I'll have everything I need to chop, slice, and dice with ease.
Wüsthof Classic 7-Piece Traveler Set, $239.95 from Williams-Sonoma