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Happy Bastille Day! We’ve been spending more time in our kitchen the past few weeks cooking dinners and carrying them out to our back patio, so I wanted to highlight some of my favorite cooking tools from France in honor of the holiday. When it comes to cooking and baking, I find the right, high quality tools make all the difference. Williams-Sonoma is currently offering 20% off all their French kitchen wares today and tomorrow. I’ve highlighted my favorites that I own and love below.
APILCO – Perhaps my favorite French brand, I traded in all my utilitarian Pyrex baking dishes for beautiful Apilco equivalents. This Au Gratin dish (No. 14) is perhaps my favorite, as I can make everything from macaroni-and-cheese to chicken with heirloom tomatoes in it. Apilco is the leader in restaurant-grade French cookware, heating evenly so your dishes emerge from the oven perfect every time. You can pull the dish from the oven and put it on the table and it looks beautiful, keeping the food warm longer and minimizing cleanup since you don’t have to dirty two dishes when replating food from the baking dish to a platter. I also own and love their classic footed lion bowls (such a pretty way to present soup and they retain heat so well!) and ramekins in all shapes and sizes. We don’t have a microwave, but their dishes are microwave and dishwasher safe as well.
STAUB – I initially thought Staub was German but it is in fact French – founded in the Alsace region that borders Germany. The brand’s signature enameled pot was designed to be the perfect vessel for cooking the region’s signature soups, stews, and braises. Known for their their french ovens, Staub combines cast-iron cooking with the lustrous beauty of Majolique fine ceramics. I received their Cast Iron Coq Au Vin Pot as a wedding present and have since added several pieces of their stoneware to my collection. I love their beauty and performance, as the bumpy interior of the french oven’s lid is designed to funnel evaporated juices back down on top of the food for even basting – resulting in the perfectly cooked chicken!
SILPAT – These flexible non-stick liners were developed for French pastry chefs and make baking cookies a breeze! The silicone sheet comes in a bunch of different sizes to fit every cookie sheet or jelly roll pan – you’ll never use parchment paper again.
MADELINE PANS – The iconic shell shaped cookies are deceptively easy to make and are sure to impress your dinner guests when they emerge hot out of the oven. I love serving mine with a dusting of confectioners sugar, blueberries, and ice cream for a hot summer night, or making rose-flavored versions dipped in warm chocolate come fall. The pan can also transform other pedestrian baked goods into something special – try using it for cornbread or biscuits.
LAGUIOLE KNIVES – We received two sets of these gorgeous steak knives as a wedding present and I love setting our table with them every chance I get. The Dubost family has been creating fine cutlery in the village of Laguiole for four generations, graced by their signature bee on the handle – a symbol of the region.
What kitchen tools can you not live without? Let me know in the comments below!