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gkg680

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  1. Elsewhere on the forum, there is commentary about different grades of Paderno cookware. One line, I believe it's the Grand Gourmet line, is the real McCoy, although some say that there are cheap and poorly constructed Paderno lines also. I live in Chicago, but last August, I was in New York and bought a Paderno Grand Gourmet skillet at Bridge Kitchenware in midtown Manhattan. I'm delighted with it, stainless steel, and it's designed in such a way as to be suitable as a frypan and also as a saute pan. Very sturdy, versatile, top quality. The professional chefs on this forum will know better than me, but I would suggest caution in buying Paderno by mail-order. It's helpful to see the product, and to determine exactly which line you're getting.
  2. I'd recommend Sitram over the Cuisinart or the All-clad stainless. I've seen that line of Cuisinart in the store and it seemed less sturdy than Sitram, plus I don't trust any covered aluminum disk, since you can't really tell how thick it is. On the Sitram, you can see that it's actually 1/4" thick. We have the 3.3 quart sitram saute pan and like it alot. You can get the 4.5 quart model with lid (I believe that's the size) for about $70 on amazon. As Sam and others have pointed out, All-clad is generally way overpriced. That said, if you are set on a single-gauge pan (as opposed to the disk bottom style like sitram and the cuisinart), avoid the stainless line, and look at the all-aluminum MC2 line, which is not only cheaper but better (but doesn't look at pretty). The best deals on any all-clad will not be on Amazon but on http://www.cookwarenmore.com/ which sells good-quality seconds for way less than retail. For example, the 4 quart MC 2 saute pan would be about $130 versus about $195 retail. Think seriously about your intended use before deciding whether to pay extra for single-gauge. If you can get by with medium heat, then you will probably not experience the problem of hot edges with the disk bottom pans (it causes black spots around the "corners" that are a bit of chore to clean, but manageable). If you expect to do a lot of high-heat cooking, then it's probably worth the money to go single-gauge. Hope this helps. ←
  3. I have 'The Essentials of classic Italian cooking'.....everything you want is in there. ← I have "Essentials Of Classic Italian Cooking" also. It's a wonderful cookbook, I've given it as a gift many times, and it is very thorough. It doesn't have photographs, but it does have helpful sketches for certain recipes. I urge you to look at a copy of this book at your local bookstore. Not being Italian or having significant experience cooking Italian food, I refer to it often. It's a tremendous value for the money, the best and most complete of Ms. Hazan's cookbooks.
  4. 1. I have an All-Clad 4 qt. saute pan, stainless. I sometimes throw it in the dishwasher, sometimes I scrub it with an SOS pad, otherwise I try to follow their rules and use a non-abrasive scrubber with mild soap. Depends what I have handy, how dirty the pan is, and so on. The pan seems to react just fine. Similarly, I have a 5 liter stainless Matfer (Matfer Bourgeat?) casserole, a bit smaller than a conventional pasta pot or stockpot. I, too, mistakenly scorched food badly in it and was left with dark spots, despite much scrubbing with a variety of cleaners. It's still a terrific pan, cooks good food, simmers stocks in smaller quantities, and I'm happy with it, I would never replace it, despite the spots. I defer to the professional chefs here at Egullet, I'm an amateur, but I would hope that any stainless pan worth its reputation would be designed to stand up to occasional mistakes. 2. By the way, Sam Kinsey, quite some time ago, you said that you might enjoy having one of the 15.75 inch Mauviel oval table service roaster/gratin pans, I recall you saying that you thought it'd be versatile. I ordered one of those from homeclick.com 2-3 weeks ago, and it arrived today. I can't tell you how terrific-looking and sturdy it is. Can't wait to try it out. The only odd thing, though, is that I paid $159, on sale, shipping included, and the same website now asks $210, after discount, for the exact same pan. The copper futures must have rocketed lately, or something. Hereagain, bringing the pan home from Dehillerin in Paris looks like the only way to get a terrific bargain. In any event, it's a treasure, even though not yet one day old. This copperware is truly addictive, even though expensive.
  5. I'm sure Sam Kinsey will verify this, but Williams-Sonoma doesn't sell any Mauviel in the 2.5 mm commercial-grade thickness, although they do carry au gratin pans, roasting pans, and assorted table service copper pieces. Sur La Table carries the commercial-grade Mauviel, but their prices are astronomical. The commercial-grade top quality pans always have a cast-iron handle, with the only exception, to my knowledge, being the casserole (stewpot), which is offered with brass or cast-iron handles, in two sizes. I only have one Mauviel pan, the 11-inch saute, in 2.5mm copper with stainless lining, but it's an heirloom, a joy to cook with and a treasure to own. Several manufacturers offer product that looks like commercial-grade copperware, but isn't. The real McCoy is more expensive, but will never wear out, and is well worth paying for. One amateur's opinion. If you happen to live reasonably near a city that has Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table both, you can compare the two and see the difference for yourself, or, if not, you can visit the two respective websites and compare. Also, artcopperware.com has an elaborate website displaying all the Mauviel, although they no longer sell direct and ship from Normandy. Best wishes.
  6. I checked, and you're correct. I wonder why this happened. Friends of mine went to the Mauviel factory store a year ago, in Normandy. They had limited inventory, and someone had to open the store and turn the lights on. I would think that the factory store would do business during tourist season, but perhaps the store and/or mail-order facility is unprofitable, or perhaps retailers somewhere in the world complained. Thank you for pointing this out, I suppose the only bargain left is Dehillerin. No harm done, you'll love the pan, and their price is the same as artcopperware's was. They'll probably even ship faster. If I misled you, I apologize. Sincere best wishes.
  7. I was in Paris two years ago and couldn't bring copperware home for the same reason, no room in the suitcase. For what it's worth, when I asked Dehillerin for a quote by Email, it took a week for them to reply. However, my order from artcopperware.com took 2 or 3 weeks to ship. It seemed like they let orders accumulate for a while, then pack and ship them all at once. Your pan will be in mint condition if you order from either vendor. I almost wish I'd ordered from Dehillerin because I'd have asked them to toss in a copy of their catalog, and I'm sure they wouldn't mind. Chef Sam Kinsey raves about Falk copperware, but there's nowhere to look at it, mail-order only. In Chicago, conversely, only Sur La Table carries the Mauviel, but prices are insane. I think they want $450 for the saute pan, but it comes with a lid. Fine, but one doesn't use it much. Whatever you decide, you'll be satisfied, and you'll enjoy the pan. The large cooking surface gives it a lot of versatility.
  8. I don't have any Falk copperware, but I bought the above pan from artcopperware.com (the Mauviel factory in Villedieu Les Poeles) by mail a year or two ago. With burdensome French shipping costs (it's very heavy), it was $200 US delivered, but the quality is tremendous. I can't say enough good things about it. And, its appearance is striking. I may buy the smaller 9.5 inch saute as a gift to myself, to cook smaller portions from time to time. Cooking is twice as much fun with this beautiful copperware. You can order from artcopperware.com by Email, whereas Dehillerin requires order confirmation by fax. The ideal way to purchase is to be in Paris and bring a few pieces home on the plane. If you've ever been to Dehillerin, you know that their inventory of copperware is the largest such retail stock in the world. I strongly suspect that whether you buy Falk, or Mauviel, you'll be thrilled with the product quality. Whatever you decide, I hope you post your comments after you take delivery. Best wishes, Greg in Chicago
  9. I'm just a Chicago amateur, but I've been delighted with the goods I've bought at Dehillerin, and can't wait to return. I have hoped to visit Villedieu Les Poeles, but friends of mine were there in November, and said that the Mauviel factory store didn't have a great deal of inventory. I did order (artcopperware.com) the 28 cm (11 inch) Mauviel saute pan, 2.5 mm thick copper, stainless-lined, from the factory, and I'm thrilled with it. You can't put it in the dishwasher, the copper requires periodic maintenance, but it's a thing of beauty, and an heirloom. Buy one piece of this cookware, and you'll be a believer.
  10. Thanks, Moby and Sam. I'm looking to decide what piece to acquire next. I may try an oval gratin pan, as it seems that one of the middle sizes might be versatile enough to roast a chicken, bake a larger gratin, and serve a pasta dish. I can't say enough good things about that 11 inch Mauviel saute. Sturdy, responsive to heat adjustments, looks terrific freshly polished or scuffed, either way. It's fun to cook with that. I'll probably buy a Falk sauteuse evasee when I decide which one. This stuff is addictive. I greatly appreciate your helpful suggestions. Be well. Greg in Chicago.
  11. It seems that this thread has been inactive for a while, but I have a few minor follow-up questions, I'd welcome comments from Sam, Moby, or anyone. As I mentioned, I've been delighted with my Mauviel 11 inch saute pan, heavy as it is. I don't mind the maintenance, and when it's scuffed up, even that has a certain stylish beauty. Here are my questions. First, now that I'm looking to add one or two other pieces of copperware, I've noticed that Falk now offers a "stew pot", which seems to be an 11 inch curved sauteuse evasee but with two cast-iron handles instead of one long cast-iron stem. Would there be any reason to select the "stew pot" rather than the traditional version? Seems to me, these pans are so heavy (their only drawback), you'd need two hands to shake either one. (It's a shame Falk isn't sold in stores so we can look at it before buying.) Second, would there be any reason to buy any of the oval pans? People seem to love them. Falk makes them with cast-iron handles, and the larger ones, I think, are 2.5 mm copper, whereas the Mauviel seems to be 1.6 mm, with brass handles. I didn't think a copper roasting pan, or smaller au gratin pan, is better in any significant way, although they certainly are striking, and a handsome look on the table. Do I have this right? Is it strictly a cosmetic thing? Also, does that Mauviel copper paella pan offer anything of significance? Is it of use as a frypan, an alternative to the 30 cm commercial-grade frypan? I'd love to hear any opinions from the group here, in case I get a chance to buy some stuff before the yearend holidays. Thank you very kindly. Greg in Chicago
  12. This thread is intriguing. I'm just an amateur, but I cook a lot of dry pasta, and I have trouble discerning quality, probably partly because I find it easy to overcook. I've done a lot of reading, including Marcella, and I find it especially interesting that some highly regarded Italian chefs say never to rinse cooked pasta, because the starchy exterior is what the sauce adheres to, whereas other experts say that no, you must rinse the pasta before saucing. A few years ago, I recall a Food And Wine magazine article, wherein Pino Luongo and 3 other food professionals in New York, I forget the others, Lydia Bastianich may have been included, tasted boxed pasta drizzled with olive oil. I believe that Delverde was the winner, Agnesi was 2d or 3d, De Cecco was down the list but in the top 6 or 8. Near Chicago, there's a large Italian market named Caputo's, known for their wonderful deli and fresh cheeses, with a huge selection of Italian goodies, oils, vinegars, frozen pasta sauces, etcetera. They have their own brand of dry pasta called La Bella Romana, which, when on sale, is two pounds for a dollar, and sometimes on special occasions even a bit cheaper, advertised as "imported from Italy". Do any of you know how an amateur such as myself can tell if it's any good? I'm never sure if there's something wrong with it, or if it's cheaper because they sell such a vast quantity, or if it's a loss leader to lure people into the market. I'm always tempted to buy 20 pounds of penne, spaghettini, and other shapes that I use most often, but I'm never sure if it's as good as some of the other brands. Caputo's, of course, has half a dozen other brands of dried pasta in stock as well. Thank you in advance for any thoughts you may have. Greg in Chicago
  13. Bill- Just a few comments that I thought might be helpful to you. I'm an amateur, but I share your enthusiasm for this website. For example, I thought I knew about making stocks. The online Egullet stock pages had so much valuable information, same with the other specialized instructional pages. I, too, have a set of Calphalon that disappoints. Food is hard to clean off, they warp, the saucepans, except for a small Windsor pan, don't have a lip. Every time I pour something, it dribbles. I even bought a Calphalon wok, which never gets hot, although part of the problem is that my heat source is electric. Recently, I bought the 11 inch Mauviel saute pan by mail from the factory in France, at artcopperware.com, and it's wonderful. I measured the capacity carefully, it holds almost 6 quarts. A cm is .3937 inches, so 2.5 mm of copper comes out to .098 inches, roughly 1/10 of an inch. I'm not sure how thick the stainless layer is, but the pan, as you say, is a monster. You need two hands, definitely, and I would discourage anyone from buying this pan without holding one in the store first. My problem in Chicago is that Sur La Table is the only store that carries any significant inventory of copperware. A chef recently opened a cookware store in Evanston, near Chicago, and he carries Bourgeat, but he has very little inventory, and he'll have trouble surviving. I would love to look at a Falk or Bourgeat large curved sauteuse evasee, but I can't find one. The manufacturers are coming out with more lines of copperware that is not commercial-grade thickness, and it's misleading. I liked the idea of buying from the factory, and artcopperware charges only 106 Euros for the 11 inch Mauviel saute, but shipping brought the cost up to $201. I can't imagine anyone wanting to return one of these pans, but it'd be a hornet's nest to do that by mail, especially overseas. I have nothing to compare my pan with, but I can say that I love the Mauviel. It's a Rolls-Royce, truly. It doesn't have a curved edge like the Bourgeat, but that's more of an issue with a saucepan, than with a saute pan. It's not only functional, it's a thing of beauty, and I don't even mind cleaning it. Sam Kinsey is the guy to advise you on this, but let us know how you fare and what you decide. It's very exciting when you open the box and see that beautiful pan. Best wishes. Greg in Chicago
  14. Moby- I wanted to thank you for your remarks about Villedieu. I'd like to go sometime, but I've only been to Paris twice, and there's so much to see, it's hard to catch a train or tour bus and leave the city. Given that the only other copper pieces I'd like, are a curved sauteuse evasee that we've discussed, and a couple of other things, I should just go to Dehillerin, I suppose. Many of us, I think, share your distaste for haggling with shopkeepers about prices. Have a safe and enjoyable trip to France, let us know how you fare. Best wishes, Greg in Chicago
  15. MobyP- I live in Chicago and have wanted to visit Villedieu and buy more cookware and tour the war monuments and the Calvados distilleries for years. May I ask, if you don't mind, what size sauteuse evasee pans you bought and use most often? Would you recommend the trip to the copper factories, both as en enjoyable escape, and as a fun way to buy copper cookware if one was thinking of buying some? I would add that many people couldn't use the 11 inch Mauviel saute, it's so heavy, even when empty. I'd prefer a rolled edge, and no pan is more in need of a helper handle. It's truly a weapon. I'd love to hear any additional recollections you have, of visiting the manufacturer, because I've found no such information on the Internet, other than comments from many people who enjoyed visiting Normandy and who found the area to be less touristy and more interesting than the Cote D'Azur. Thank you most kindly.
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