You’re engaged? Congratulations! Since you’re about to be faced with a zillion decisions up until your big day — some momentous (should we write our own vows?) and some less-than-momentous (seriously, are we Chiavari chair people?), we thought we’d pitch in with our expertise to help make at least one part of planning your wedding as easy as possible: your gift registry.
If you love food and cooking, then setting up a gift registry is going to be a LOT of fun for two reasons. First, your friends and family are thrilled for you, and they want to give you something in celebration — but they might not have any idea what you want or need. Putting together a thoughtful registry just helps direct their gift-giving energy and makes things easier for everyone.
Second, you get to think about your married life with your partner and all the meals you want to make and eat together — romantic date nights at home, lazy Sunday breakfasts, cocktails and small bites with friends. Maybe you want to host huge holiday dinners at some point or learn to make sushi. This is when you get to start thinking about all that. So even if you’re thinking but we already have everything we need and we don’t want to just ask for more stuff, ask yourself if your kitchen is truly stocked for the life you imagine living 10 years from now. And if it is, consider registering for experiences — like our cooking classes.
Okay, on to the goodies. We asked a few of our Gift Registry specialists to recommend basic items that are essential to any kitchen AND that also have good track records with gift-givers (e.g. your grandma will feel good about buying one of them for you).
You’ll use one of these ovens regularly for all types of dishes. The 5.5-quart size is great for meals for two to three people (with leftovers); the 7.25-quart size will work better if you’ll frequently be cooking for more than that. Handmade in France, these ovens will last you a lifetime.
This cookware set includes all the standard pieces you’ll need for everyday cooking, and All-Clad’s proprietary clad-metal construction is a favorite of top chefs around the world. It’s durable, heats evenly and can even go in the dishwasher.
All the basic tools you’ll use the most frequently, housed in a durable canister that you can keep within easy reach on the countertop. Bonus: stainless steel is super easy to keep clean.
Super sharp and lightweight, this German-made knife set will keep you covered for all sorts of cutting tasks. It also includes kitchen shears and a honing steel, two handy essentials you likely wouldn’t think to buy for yourself.
If you love to entertain, a good steak knife set will take you far. These blades have straight edges that won’t tear delicate cuts of meat.
Soooo much more than a blender, the ultra-powerful Vitamix can make hot soups, creamy purées and even ice cream or sorbet. It’s low-maintenance, too — to clean it, just add hot water, a drop of dish soap, select the self-cleaning setting and voilà.
So you need a big mug of brewed coffee in the morning but your partner prefers to sip lattes? Not a problem with this compact machine that brews coffee and espresso one cup at a time. It comes with a milk frother that makes the most incredible milk foam we’ve tasted. [Editor’s note: Updated 1/19/2016]
Top-rated by a leading industry magazine and aptly named, these food processors can power through just about any kitchen task. Chopping, mincing, making pie or bread dough — this’ll be your go-to.
An all-inclusive set for sweet and savory baking, roasting veggies, making a flatbread, homemade granola — you name it. Made just for us in the USA, these pro-grade pans are durable, won’t warp and are also nonstick so they’re easy to clean.
Whether you’re a rule follower or a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type in the kitchen, you’re going to need a decent set of measuring spoons — and this is it. Made of durable stainless steel, you can toss them in the dishwasher when you’re done.
Our chefs swear by these things. The razor-sharp plane grates beautiful wisps of hard cheeses, chocolate, citrus and more, and the soft handle is easy on your hands.
These cutting boards are great for small spaces—they’re ultra-light and thin, so they tuck away easily. Also, the nonslip corners keep the board in place while you work. Even better? They’re made in the USA of environmentally responsible materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Top-rated and best-selling, our classic white Bistro dinnerware makes a chic backdrop to all your meals. It’s super durable, too, so it can stand up to everyday use. It’s also the LBD of the dinner table — easy to dress up and down depending on the linens and accessories you choose.
Stripped down and simple, this modern flatware looks great with most décor styles. It’s weighty and sturdy, with a high-shine finish. (By the way, prepare yourself: nothing is going to make you feel more Grown Up then realizing you own matching flatware sets for eight.)
Whether you’re serving side dishes to guests or pita chips to yourself, these updated bowls get the job done in style. Simple swooping lines add just enough visual interest while maintaining a look you’ll still like a few years down the road.
Forget about whether the two of you drink mostly reds or mostly whites — these glasses are a smart choice for both. The tall, slightly sloped sides make it easy to swirl and aerate, and the body has an easily identifiable pour line. Plus, the Tritan Crystal retains its clarity and resists scratching and breakage—you can even put them in the dishwasher.
Uncork your favorite vino quick as a bunny. This automatic opener works with any wine bottle and comes with a bunch of handy extras. You’re still on your own when it comes to boxed wine, though.
You’ll instantly amp up your bartender cred with this smart set of tools. Our designers took their inspiration for these stainless pieces from the bars in Europe’s swankiest big hotels.
One of the most flavorful cooking trends we’ve come across over the years—you can put this block on the grill or in the oven to impart a subtle salty goodness to whatever food you cook on it. We love it for seafood, steaks, root vegetables and much, much more (even ice cream).
If you love to bake, or think that one day you might love to bake, you need a KitchenAid stand mixer. Powerful and durable, this mixer will be what you lean on for a lifetime of tasty treats—cakes, brownies, madeleines, airy whipped cream, homemade breads and pizzas and much more.
So did we miss any essentials? What are you putting (or what would you put) on your gift registry? If you’d like to create a Sur La Table Gift Registry (it’s free!), you can set one up in any of our stores or create one right now online.