Some misconceptions about working for Sur La Table: all employees are gourmet cooks (I debunk that myth here, here, and pretty much every time I try to make dinner); have magazine-worthy kitchens (shout-out to the 80’s-era oven that came with my new house. Hey Boo!); and that we are somehow blasé when it comes to buying cookware, desensitized to the lure of cool new products because we work with the stuff day in and day out. Not true! If anything, working here has made me covet kitchen and dining gear more than ever. If you’d told me three years ago that it was possible to love a shiny new pan or an exclusive imported pepper mill more than I already did, I would have laughed. But look at me now!
Here, then, are the top items currently on my very-much-alive-and-well Sur La Table radar and wish list. It’s not easy to narrow it down— Sur La Table carries thousands of items, after all— but these 10 definitely make the cut. KNIFE PUNS!
- Mark Bitterman Sel Gris. A game changer and the new star of my meals at home. The entire Bitterman collection is excellent, but this salt, best for heartier foods, really takes the steak. More, please! [Read A Sharp Knife & Salt’s Q&A with Mark Bitterman here]
- Scanpan CTQ 11” nonstick skillet. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure about my maiden CTQ purchase—the 8” size— at first. These aren’t the most inexpensive pans around, if you know what I mean. But then: pan unsheathed (it comes in a fancy bag!)/perfect tiny omelette made/mind blown. Ready to size up.
- An immersion blender. Seriously: what is my mental block when it comes to buying one of these? I watched my cool pal Meg use one once and thought, “I too will make velvety smooth soups and sauces with an electric stick someday.” That was about 17 years ago. Meg is still as cool as ever and I remain stick-less. As much as I love my Vitamix, sometimes I just want to leave the soup in the pot when it’s ready to blend. Now is the time.
- More table runners. I joined the table runner movement when hosting a holiday party a few years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Not that I’ve bought another one since, but still: not looking back!
- A mini pizza oven. Because there is no greater gift you can give yourself than the laughter of your children the gift of pizza. Get ready, countertops of mine, to meet my little friend.
- One truly amazing knife. I recently acquired a Global Ni chef’s knife, which, wow, and have been told that this guy is a great mid-sized option to have handy. But I want an ultimate knife; a knife that’s an art piece in the block and a beast on the board. This is that knife. Gorgeous. Legendary Japanese craftsmanship. 101 layers of steel. In each blade! How is that even a thing? Don’t care. Want it.
- Marble and Acacia Wood Cheese Paddle. I’ve had my eye on this board/paddle/tray for a while now. It’s so cool-looking, and I’m confident that it will really class up my solo cheese binges.
- Zwiesel 1872 Comete Coupe Glasses. Can I really justify a $100+ coupe glass set purchase? What is a coupe glass, anyway? I don’t know, but I love these in a deep and meaningful way. On the list. Dreamers gonna dream.
- Emile Henry Baker. Apparently, French purveyor of cookware awesome Emile Henry hasn’t had a major product release in 20 years- until these bakers. That’s like Led Zeppelin coming out with a new album! Except with more potential for fruit crumbles and pasta bakes, and far fewer ripping blues riffs and drum solos.
- A trusty oven thermometer. Because when you only have a few years on your oven, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Sur La Table fans: what kitchen must-haves am I missing here? And can someone fill me in on what’s best served in a coupe glass? Thanks!