Ten or fifteen years ago, if you did any shopping at the Union Square farmers market in New York, or if you worked down in the financial district, or if you happened to just walk around Manhattan, you might have seen and heard a man delivering a wonderful sales pitch - for vegetable peelers. That salesman was Joe Ades, The Gentleman Peeler, an older gentleman and New York icon, hunched down on a tiny stool with buckets of vegetables charming everyone in sight while selling vegetable peelers. Ades passed away in 2009. To learn more about this incredible man, Francis Lam talked with Ades's daughter Ruth Ades-Laurent, owner of the restaurant La Ripaille.

By the way, if you in the New York area during the spring of 2019 she'll be selling the last of her father’s peelers at the Brooklyn Borough Hall farmers market. Get them while you still can!

Also, enjoy our collection of recipes that put your favorite vegetable peeler to work.

Video: Best Salesman in the World (Ari Gold YouTube)

peeled carrots

Francis Lam with Ruth Ades-Laurent and one of the last of her father's Star Swiss vegetable peelers Photo: Erika Romero | The Splendid Table

Francis Lam

Francis Lam is the host of The Splendid Table. He is the former Eat columnist for The New York Times Magazine and is Editor-at-Large at Clarkson Potter. He graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America and has written for numerous publications. Lam lives with his family in New York City.