A good chef, be they raw, or cooked, are only as good as their utensils. A dull knife is good for mashing, not slicing, a tomato.
How many knives do you really need? I'm one of those people who believe that one really great knife is all you need for a kitchen. That's why I bought a Global 10" Chef's knife.
I got my knife from MetroKitchen.com. This is one fantastic internet supplier. My purchase was shipped the very next day, and delivered right on time. I called customer support because I lost my email showing the shipping date. I was out of town at the time, but they were able to tell me that the knife had been delivered! MetroKitchen.com is listed by Global's U.S. supplier as an approved Global dealer.
But what about my nice little paring knife for small things? Use the tip of the blade! You don't need to have a drawer full of knives. You need one really great knife.
Oh, and a first aid kit. The first aid kit is really important. Yes, that's a bandage you see on my index finger. Didn't even feel the blade slice through the fingernail, and take off a small piece of the finger. It was a nice bright red to go with the holiday season, but I didn't feel much of anything. A great knife, and a first aid kit will make for a great holiday for your budding Chef!