An Afternoon of Culinary Shopping in Paris

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Okay, I admit it.

I’m a sucker for a pretty grill.

Even more so for new pots, pans, knives, whisks and just about any other great-looking cookware or bakeware.

Especially if it’s shiny or colorful.

For me, shopping for kitchen supplies isn’t a chore; it’s an art.

And just like artists, who can look at blank canvases and imagine the pictures they’re about to paint, many chefs can picture EXACTLY what that finished entrée or dessert will look like on the plate as they’re gazing at shelves of empty metal pots or lifeless pastry molds.

Yet sometimes, that’s exactly where the birth of a new dish begins: right there in aisle 3 of a cookware shop.

I’ll admit, however, that I don’t find much inspiration walking past the housewares department at Target or Macy’s. But when, only hours after leaving England, I found myself immersed in one of the cultural centers of the culinary world, as is the case in Paris, my brain was having a hard time processing all of the mental images flashing through it. This was not unlike the passing scenery on the bullet train from London to Paris I had just arrived on. I toured every aisle of every store, not wanting to miss anything but just as anxious to see what was around the next corner.

In Paris, there are many cookware shops. Some specialize more in cooking supplies, some are geared toward bakers and pastry chefs, and others have more day-to-day items for the general public.

But whatever your culinary interest, the heart of the cookware district is in Les Halles. This is appropriate since Les Halles has been given the nickname The Stomach of Paris, and it’s also been THE central marketplace in the city of Paris for centuries.

Of the many shops in the Les Halles area of Paris’ 1st arrondissement, the following four are notable:

E.Dehillerin Specializes in classic cookware

La Bovida Cookware, bakeware, dining supplies

A. Simon Good selection, great values, general supplies

Mora Specializes in bakery and pastry supplies

All of the stores above are located within a block of one another, and there are plenty of wonderful cafés sprinkled about to help you recharge your shopping batteries and rest your arms from toting your newly found treasures.

If you’d like to learn a little more about this culinary shoppers’ paradise and see just what I bought on my recent trip, check out my video and discover what a cook’s heaven really looks like.