An icon of the restaurant supply world, E. Dehillerin has been the go-to place for professional chefs in Paris since it first opened in 1820. Still family-run, the tightly packed store offers every tool and gadget a cook could possibly need to achieve greatness in the kitchen, or at least feel great in the kitchen.
Located on Rue Coquillière in the 1st, near Les Halles of course, the store is a mecca for passionate home cooks (read tourists) as well.
Dehillerin is best-known for their vast selection for copper pots and pans so on a recent visit, it was no surprise when considerable airtime was taken up by an American mother and her forty-something son debating whether the 24-inch handled skillet would fit into his home oven. (The son won.) I wonder how he managed to get the thing home.
Literally filled to the rafters with goodies, including the bug-shaped bread baskets you never knew you needed until now.
However, don’t expect a Williams-Sonoma experience here; no hand-holding or gentle guidance. You’re on your own when it comes to finding prices, too. Just match the item’s number with its mate on the very long list and, voila! We decided to pass on the ginormous cleaver in favor of some more practical items.
Heading to the basement where Le Creuset and Staub cookware line the dusty shelves. Dimly lit, a flashlight would have come in handy.
Back upstairs, a game of hide-and-seek among the plastic-wrapped pots and pans. They certainly wouldn’t dare sell someone a dusty pot. Quelle horreur!
While the service can be brusque in that French in-your-face sort of way, the staff will make certain you leave with the right tool for the job, even if it’s not the one you thought you needed.
My loot from our visit to Dehillerin–proof that you CAN pack almost anything in your carry-on luggage. Of course they would use wine corks to protect the tips.
Tidbit: A visit to E. Dehillerin was the inspiration for the founder of Seattle-based kitchen supply company, Sur la Table.