There is a lot more to French cookware than ramekins, gratin dishes and copper pots. Good quality French cookware not only enhances your cooking it is also an incredible joy to use. What makes French cookware so irresistible is that it is made to last. It is not about disposable products. It is about buying things you can use for a lifetime and then pass on to your children who can then pass it on to their children. Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma loves French cookware.
The best place to buy french cookware is in France. Similarly, if you can not travel to Paris, do not fret, you can start your French cookware collection by surfing ebay for le-creuset pots new and old. Do not be put off by buying a second hand le creuset pot, because they last and last and last.
Better still when you search on ebay keep an eye on items listed incorrectly spelt "le crueset". Lots of people do not spell it correctly and you can grab yourself some fabulous bargains. Because le creuset pots are incredibly heavy it is a good idea to keep in mind where the item being sold is located as postage and shipping can add up. Copper pots also last and are worth looking for on ebay as well. Alternatively look for french cookware in Williams-Sonoma who have an extensive range.
If you are lucky enough to make it to France, the most famous cookware store Dehillerin pronounced "Day-le-ran" is the top restaurant supply store for all Parisian chefs. It is located in the area called Les Halles, where the wholesale food market used to be. Its proper address is 18-20 Rue Coquilliere, First Arrondissement, Paris 75001. When you holiday in France next, pack lightly and with an additional suitcase inside your main one.
Allow yourself a few hours to stop off at Dehillerin in Paris and buy some famous French cookware that you will be able to enjoy and that your children will get to enjoy when you are long gone pushing up daisies. Here you will see heavy-duty pots, great quality knives, and sturdy baking pans that really really work. Wooden shelves are piled high with every conceivable kind of tart pan, round, oval, square, big and small. There are white porcelain baking dishes and Le Creuset pots in every size and colour. The range is unbelievable.
Visiting the store is a memorable experience. It is cramped, poorly lit, typically quintessentially Paris, and wonderful. All the help in the world is there if you are willing to speak a little French, or your best Franglais.
People in the know think no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Dehillerin. You will find kitchen utensils that you have only dreamed about, items you see in the books. American visitors often remark that you can get better kitchen utensils than you can get at Sur La Table or Williams Sonoma at half the price.
And remember you can claim your VAT refund. If you can't get there you can order online at e-dehillerin.fr. Alternatively if you are in France, you can also source good cookware at any of the hypermarkets.
Corina Clemence loves french cookware and runs Chateau du Guerinet a luxury chateau for fifteen people ideal for visiting Loire Valley's chateaux and vineyards. Rent exclusively or rent a suite in the chateau. http://www.loirechateau.com Rent a castle in France Rent a french chateau