The Chowhound's Guide to the Best Kitchen Stores

What's cooking in the county's most up-to-date high-end kitchen shops.


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A Baker’s Dozen

Well-Equipped Kitchen Stores

 

You may want to leave the credit cards—or your spouse—at home before you venture into one of these kitchen-supply emporiums (our advice: let your partner go golfing!)

 

By Laura Joseph Mogil    Photography by John Fortunato

 

So you finally decided to have that dinner party for eight. Paella sounded perfect, right? You ran around town buying all your ingredients, and now you’re ready to cook your big meal. Only one problem: you’re lacking some of the key kitchen equipment needed to whip up this fiesta—a garlic press to crush the garlic, a sharp new cook’s knife to cut up the chorizo and chicken, a mini-chopper to dice your herbs, a zester for your lemons, and, of course, an extra-wide paella pan. Oh, and don’t forget the set of individual ramekins to bake the flan for dessert or the electric juicer to make the freshly squeezed orange juice for the sangria.

 

Don’t throw in the (dish) towel just yet! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced home chef, you can find the grooviest gadgets and the coolest cookware right here in the county.  Read on to find out which shops will supply you with the goods to make your kitchen look like the set of “Emeril Live”—BAM!

 

Consider the Cook

26 The Village Green, Bedford

(914) 234-8880

 

Owner Dina Clason, who for 11 years was the china and silver buyer at Tiffany’s in Manhattan, stocks this small but darling store with beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary items for the kitchen. She also likes to help customers. “It’s all about personalized service,” she notes. Although selections are limited, they’re top-rate (All-Clad stainless-steel and Le Creuset cast-iron cookware, Chicago Metallic bakeware, and Wüsthof classic knives). And Clason is happy to place special orders when necessary.

The shop does have an array of platters and serving ware to help you present your culinary creations, too. There are colorful and whimsical Artesian serving pieces, dinnerware from Tracy Porter, and elegant English transferware from Burgess Dorling & Leigh that you won’t find anywhere else in Westchester.

 

There are also beautifully patterned tablecloths, placemats, and napkins, and lovely oversized French linen tea towels.  It’s almost impossible to leave without buying something for your kitchen.

 

 

Chef Central

45 S. Central Ave., Hartsdale

(914) 328-1376; www.chefcentral.com

 

This place is huge—and stuffed with just about every utensil, pot, pan, small appliance, gadget, and accessory the well-stocked kitchen may need. Think of it as a Bed Bath & Beyond for the kitchen. (There’s another Chef Central in Paramus, NJ.)

 

Need a table crumber? It’s here (99 cents). A rolled fondant? Here too ($5.99 to $8.99). Or perhaps you’re looking for a professional stockpot that can hold up to 100 quarts of chicken broth? Yup ($174.99).

 

Or maybe you want to stock your kitchen cabinets with All-Clad pots and pans, colorful Le Creuset dutch ovens, casseroles, or stoneware, or perhaps Calphalon pro-quality cookware. You’re in the right place.

 

You’re in the right place, too, if you’d rather knead than sauté; the store offers a dazzling variety of bakeware, from Spanish terracotta casseroles to stoneware ramekins to the increasingly popular silicone muffin “tins” that pop muffins out with a simple twist. To cut, chop, dice, slice, and peel, Chef Central offers complete sets or individual knives (from paring and utility knives to chef’s knives, steak knives, and cleavers) by Wüsthof and J.A. Henckels, plus an impressive collection of knives from Shun Classic, crafted from multiple layers of steel by Japan’s premier blade producer, sure to have you slicing like a samurai. Come this fall, you can choose from among a selection of 20 different roasting pans to cook your holiday bird, plus, to help ensure perfection, digital thermometers, turkey twine, and frills for the legs.

 

If that’s not enough, there’s a back wall full of cookbooks and a demo kitchen where you can try out products any time.

 

If you enjoy learning from the pros, the shop holds demonstrations and offers

courses throughout the year. Guest chefs who’ve dropped by for book signings include Daniel Boulud, David Boulet, and Jacques Torres; and a visit by Mario Batali is scheduled for September 8. Previous course subjects have ranged from “Knife Basics” to “Advanced Cake Decorating” to a “Tour of Italy” series. Kids classes include the popular “Mud Pies & Oreo Shakes” (ages 3 to 5). To learn what’s coming up, check out the shop’s website.

 

 

The Complete Kitchen

410 Main St., Ridgefield, CT

(203) 431-7722; Cooking School: (203) 894-1345

118 Greenwich Ave., Greenwich, CT

(203) 869-8384; www.thecompletekitchenllc.com

 

Both store locations offer every gadget you could ever imagine, top-of-the-line cookware, cutlery, small appliances, and an extensive baking section. You’ll find candy molds, food colorings, pastry brushes, commercial-grade pans, and more than 60 cookie cutters. The Ridgefield location has hands-on and demo cooking classes taught by owner Paul Robert, often along with talented chefs from some of Connecticut’s top restaurants. The “Kids Culinary Camp” (ages 11 to 15) draws future Mario Batalis from as far away as Texas.

 

 

 

Zee Vacuums & Home Essentials

25 S. Moger Ave., Mount Kisco

(914) 666-7100

 

While you won’t find a broad selection of items here, you will find the best products made for the kitchen: Viking, Le Creuset, and Swiss Diamond non-stick cookware; Emile Henry bakeware; and Cuisinart small appliances. Richard Zee and his brother Marc, who co-own the shop, narrow the inventory to the “best selections.”

 

The store offers super-thin Leifheit ice-cream scoopers that make it a snap to cut into the good stuff ($12.95), and the Kyocera ceramic paring knife, sporting one of the sharpest blades around ($39.95). Simeon Manber, the executive pastry chef at Connie’s Bakery & General Store in Mount Kisco, reports that he drops by Zee’s a couple times a month to pick up items for his store. “I’ve bought so many wonderful things here, but the best thing I’ve ever gotten was a digital timer that’s magnetized so it sticks to my oven,” Manber says. You can pick up a digital timer, too (Polder, $17.95).

 

Zee also carries some of the best products made to keep your pots and pans looking new, including Caldrea’s eco-friendly stainless steel spray ($12.95) and Cape Cod anti-tarnish cloths and gloves ($17.95).

 

This is also a vacuum-cleaner shop, so don’t forget to check out the variety of choices to

leave your kitchen spotless.

 

 

Wüsthof

333 S. Highland Ave., Briarcliff Manor

(800) 289-9878; www.wusthof.com

 

Zwilling J.A. Henckels

171 Saw Mill River Rd., Hawthorne

(800) 777-4308; www.jahenckels.com

 

Ever since Food Network cutie Rachael Ray started slicing up her vegetables with a razor-sharp santoku chef’s knife, everyone has been wanting one, including me. Good knives aren’t cheap, though; a top brand santoku or similar-style knife can cost from $75 to $125. So, for a pretty good deal, check out German-based Wüsthof’s warehouse in Briarcliff Manor, which recently opened to the public. Reconditioned and discontinued knives usually are at least 50 percent off, and sharpening any brand of knife is available at $2 per blade.

 

I bought my coveted Wüsthof Classic santoku (reconditioned) for $45 (list price $120). The seven-piece Grand Prix blocks were recently available for $109; they usually cost $300.

 

It’s also worth paying a visit to the holiday warehouse sale at J.A. Henckels, another German company; this year’s sale will take place December 2 to 4 and 9 to 11. Overstocks, seconds, and discontinued items will be available. Henckels’s premium brand Professional “S” 8-inch chef’s knife will be on sale for $34.99 (list price $120). And cookware, flatware, gadgets, cutting boards, and more will be at a minimum of 50 percent off.

 

 

Albano Appliance

83 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge

(914) 764-4051; www.albanoappliance.com

 

Viking lovers (and count me in), this is our place. Not only will you find Viking appliances galore, but a full line of Viking seven-ply cookware, from a butter warmer ($85) to an 8.5-quart sauce pot ($285). Fred Albano, whose family has run the appliance store since it opened in 1952, explains why Viking cookware belongs in or on a Viking appliance: “Because Viking cookware is heavier and thicker, it can handle the extremely high heat output produced by the burners on the Viking range, and the stainless steel’s magnetic property works great with induction cooking.” 

 

Executive Chef Jehan S. de Noüe of North Star Restaurant in Pound Ridge swears by Viking products for his home. “The six-quart sauté pan is great for cooking risotto for up to 15 people,” he says of the $275 pan. He also  reports that the 1.5-quart saucepan is good for making a delicate truffle sauce to go over steak ($135). No doubt you can find other uses for it.

 

If you’d like more Viking logos in your kitchen, you can purchase the company’s cutlery ($45 to $135), blenders ($140), mixers ($400 to $500), and food processors ($300). You can test the products yourself or see them in action by attending one of Albano’s cooking courses, which are taught on premises by local chefs several times a month and feature such mouthwatering menus as “A Mediterranean Evening” and “It’s Greek to Me.” (Check Albano’s website for upcoming classes.)

 

 

Charles Department Store

113 Katonah Ave., Katonah

(914) 232-5200; www.charlesdeptstore.com

 

Yes, most shoppers come here to pick up clothes and shoes, but Northern Westchester cooks also come to this shop for its small but well-stocked section of high-quality housewares. And while they may not find the best bargains around, they do enjoy good, old-fashioned service. After all, this is a small family business: brothers Jim and Dave Raneri have continued in the footsteps of their grandparents, who founded the original Charles Dry Goods store in 1924.

 

Charles Department Store is one of the few retailers in our area selling All-Clad’s new Copper Core cookware. It also carries brightly colored Emile Henry bakeware made of Burgundy clay that can go from freezer to oven to table; OXO i-series gadgets (a favorite of home cooks), including a cheese grater with a built-in measuring cup ($16.99); bamboo cutting boards ($10 to $110); and stainless steel Dualit toasters from England ($220 small; $320 large). 

 

 

HomeGoods

Somers Commons Shopping Center

86 Rte. 6, Somers

(914) 621-5982

The Mall At Cross County

750 Central Ave., Yonkers

(914) 476-4033

www.homegoods.com

 

The Loehmann’s of housewares, HomeGoods is a bargain-hunter’s dream. And although, as at Loehmann’s, you’ve got to search and search to find a great buy, often it’s worth the hassle. You can discover some very nice, name-brand merchandise, marked 20 to 60 percent less than prices at department and specialty stores. Recently I found a Cuisinart 10-cup automatic grind-and-brew coffeemaker for $29.99 (regularly $70) and great deals on Chicago Metallic loaf pans; OXO “Good Grip” and Zyliss gadgets; Le Creuset baking dishes and ramekins; Emile Henry fondue pots; and SiliconeZone muffin pans and basting brushes. And unlike most shops, the merchandise changes daily. So it’s wise to return to HomeGoods often.

 

 

 

Cook and Craft

27 Arcadia Rd., Old Greenwich, CT

(203) 637-2755; www.cookandcraft.com

 

Owner Brian Ebzery worked as a chef for 15 years before opening Cook and Craft, where he offers a professional’s take on what a home cook needs. The store sells All-Clad, Le Creuset, Wüsthof, and more, plus beautiful handmade crafts—from inlaid turquoise cutting boards to colorfully painted salad bowls—Provençal linens, gadgets galore, small appliances, cookbooks, and a wonderful pantry of gourmet food items.

 

 

 

 

Bed Bath & Beyond

393 N. Central Ave., Hartsdale

(914) 948-3720

and other locations;

www.bedbathandbeyond.com

 

If you’re like me, then you’ve got enough of those blue “20-percent-off-any-item” coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond to wallpaper an entire powder room. But no matter how this giant chain tries to lure you in, once in you’ll be impressed with its huge wall of gadgets, from the everyday pizza cutter and can opener to the more unusual oyster knife and bacon cooker.

 

“There’s something for everyone’s level of cooking expertise and everyone’s budget,” says spokesperson Bari Fagin. While Fagin is undoubtedly biased, there’s a whole lot of truth to what she says. You can, for instance, purchase a 10-piece All-Clad Stainless cookware set for $589.99 or opt for the same size Cuisinart set for $149.99. The same holds for the coveted Henckels and Wüsthof knives, which are sold alongside more reasonably priced Farberware and KitchenAid knives, in both block sets and open stock.

 

Another draw is the broad range of appliances, from coffeemakers, food processors, and toaster ovens to rice cookers, deep fryers, and bread makers. There is also an excellent selection of dinnerware (from everyday stoneware to fine china) and flatware.

 

 

 

The Complete Kitchen

65 Pondfield Rd., Bronxville 

(914) 793-6925

 

Owner Sherrie Sorenson is proud to report that when a customer asks for an obscure gadget, the store usually has it. “We want to be known as the complete kitchen—not the incomplete kitchen,” she declares.

 

John Byrne, owner and chef of Scarborough Fair, the upscale catering company based in Bronxville, shops at Bronxville’s The Complete Kitchen. (Despite its name, this shop is not affiliated with The Complete Kitchen in Greenwich and Ridgefield.) The store, he says, has an “excellent selection of bakeware and great options for outdoor entertaining, including fantastic pitchers and serving platters.” This darling boutique seems pretty complete to me. It is crammed with just about every item you’ll ever need for cooking and baking, plus some very unusual and attractive serving pieces, dinnerware, and hostess gifts.

 

My personal favorites: Casafina decorative stoneware rectangular bakers, perfect for cooking and serving lasagna ($42); Nigella Lawson’s attractively designed line of egg-shaped mixing bowls ($65 for a set), gadgets, and serving pieces; NordicWare specialty bundt pans in rose, castle, star, and sunflower shapes ($27); and William Bounds salt-and-pepper mills ($20 to $50). I also loved the compact D150 Nespresso machine, incredibly easy to use with individual capsules ($200), and the gorgeous French linens by Le Jacquard Français, which I haven’t seen anywhere else in the county.  And, as far as bargains go, I couldn’t overlook the elegant and delicate looking crystal glasses from the Czech Republic, in a variety of shapes ranging from champagne flutes to martini glasses, each costing a mere $5.

 

 

 

Williams-Sonoma

The Westchester, 125 Westchester Ave.

 White Plains

(914) 644-8360; www.williams-sonoma.com

 

Yes, it’s a chain with more than 250 stores nationwide, but Williams-Sonoma is a chain with a rather nice variety of high-end cook’s tools, dinnerware, cutlery, bakeware, barware, and loads of gift items.  You can almost always find what you need, whether it’s a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar on your crème brûlée, a muddle for your mojito, a fully-automated espresso-and-cappuccino machine, or a bottle of sliced Piquillo peppers. Williams-Sonoma also offers quick catalog and internet shopping, a bridal registry, specialty food items, and recipes.

 

The selection is top-notch and high-end, though prices are not unreasonable. And not only can you buy, say, a Krups panini press ($80), you can also pick up the book Grilled Cheese: 50 Recipes to Make You Melt (Chronicle Books, $16.95) and a bottle of Espuny extra virgin olive oil ($16.95) to make your sandwich back home. There are more than 12 different ice cream scoopers, plus zucchini corers, butter curlers, pastry sealers, pickle tongs, and much more.

 

 

Laura Joseph Mogil is a freelance writer living in Briarcliff Manor.  Thanks to this article, she not only now owns a new bamboo cutting board and a silicone muffin pan, but she hopes to purchase a set of All-Clad cookware in the near future.

 

 

 

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