What’s Cooking?

Stock your kitchen arsenal before company comes calling.

By Paul Fontana October 20, 2009 Published in the November 2009 issue of Seattle Met


Old Faithful

Stuffed like a perfect piece of shell pasta, the downtown chef’s bazaar City Kitchens is long on inventory but short on frills: Its gadgets are not cutesy, there are no demos or tastings, and they still hand-write their receipts. Local and visiting gourmands come instead for hard-to-find copperware by Mauviel, nonstick roasters and skillets by Swiss Diamond (yep, precious gem crystals coat the surface), an impressive selection of ceramics, and an exhaustive collection of cookie cutters. City Kitchens, 1527 Fourth Ave, Downtown, 206-382-1138;

Bottomless Glasses

Are your kitchen exploits simply too rigorous for consumer-grade cookware? Does size matter so much that only the truly colossal (Sixty-quart stock pots! Seventeen-inch pepper grinders! Twenty-six-inch woks!) will satisfy? Though Bargreen Ellingson primarily caters to the restaurant industry, the local outpost of the regionally based chain is a sharp direction to head for deals on high-quality knives and bulk utensils and glassware. Bargreen Ellingson, 3627 First Ave S, SoDo, 206-682-1472;

Looks Good

Anchored in the heart of Madison Park, Cookin’ caters to home chefs for whom presentation is a key concern. A solid selection of cookware augments a bright and colorful array of serving pieces, linens, and candles—unscented for the dinner table, of course—and tools geared toward delicious details. Whether it needs to be delicately julienned, coarsely chopped, or finely shredded, there’s probably a kiwi-green implement here that’ll get the job done. Cookin’ at Madison Park, 4224 E Madison St, Madison Park, 206-328-2665

Full-Meal Deal

Though you’ll find All-Clad, Emile Henry, and great wines on offer, to call Dish It Up! a kitchen store is to miss the point. The large granite countertop in the back of the shop is where the real action is. If you seek inspiration from local culinary luminaries or want to hone some skills in a relaxed setting, consider front-row seats at one of several weekly cooking and demonstration events. Dish It Up!, 2425 33rd Ave W Ste B, Magnolia, 206-281-7800;

Accounting for Taste

As charming as the cramped quarters of the original Pike Place Market Sur La Table can be, the enterprise’s new space at the Shops at the Bravern charts the retailer’s true course. While decor harkens back to the store’s Parisian-informed beginnings, newfangled gadgets like ultra automatic espresso machines as well as back-to-basics yet super trendy canning supplies illustrate a seasoned take on food fads. The new location also affords ample room for testing—knives and electronics included—before you commit to lifelong relationships. Sur La Table, 11111 NE Eighth St, Bellevue, 425-450-4010; for more locations see

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