My name is Gilles Steinberg and it is with pleasure that I introduce you to our company. Fontenille Pataud is located in Thiers, the mecca of French cutlery (like Solingen is in Germany or Sheffield in England), in the beautiful volcanic region of Auvergne in France. Since the 1920s, FONTENILLE PATAUD has made fine cutlery its core business.
In the past, we were used to craft our knives handles from genuine ivory, ebony as well as horn. Our knives were very popular and sold in the best shops in France, Germany, and Switzerland. Nowadays, because of modernization and new technologies, our way of life has changed a lot. The invention of the dishwasher changed handle preference, natural materials became less favored to be replaced up to a point by the convenience of plastic. In 1994, I purchased the company from its original owner and made a decision to return to the fine craft of specialty knives. Since 1995, Fontenille-Pataud has restarted production of fine folding knives, specifically the LAGUIOLE knives. Those products were (and still are) 80% made in Thiers, but the niche market of artisan crafting Laguiole knives remains yet confidential. It was a major decision to adopt as a policy "handmade in France" as well as choosing to register our best knives under the Gilles® signature.
We believe in only using the finest of materials available and are proud of our handcrafting. Unlike several other manufacturers, we focus on quality and not volume.
For your information, it is important for you to know Laguiole is NOT a brand name, neither is it a trademark nor a label. There are NO real or fake Laguiole knives, only good ones and bad ones.
For our part, we have decided to keep making knives the old way in the full respect of the art.
Word of mouth from our pleased customers is our best advertisement. Our sincere thanks to all of our faithful customers. We have been awarded prizes by the French government for our efforts and are exporting approximately 50% of our production ti best shops worldwide.