Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Restaurant Supply Stores Are a Home Cook's Dream [Corrected 05/26/ 14]

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Restaurant Supply Stores Are a Home Cook's Dream [Corrected 05/26/ 14]

Article excerpt

For people who love to cook, it's like Disneyland.

We walk through the aisles, eyes agog, mouths agape. As with children, our hands reach out to all the shiny objects on the shelves. "I want," we say. "I want."

For chefs, restaurant supply companies are part of the job, where they go to pick up the kitchen equipment, plates and assorted whatnots that they need for work. It's fast, available, convenient and above all, cheap.

Those same attributes are what make the stores Christmas to the home cook. There, spread out in front of you, is a wondrous array of delights, all shining and sparkly and well within your budget.

The pots and pans you might buy at a typical kitchen store are sturdier and hardier than you will find at a restaurant supply company, and they are certainly more attractive. But why buy a gorgeous, heavy fry pan at one of those high-end mall stores for $150 when you can pick up a perfectly serviceable pan at a restaurant supply store for $12.95?

And it's not just serviceable, it is literally what the pros use. Chefs in working kitchens who cook food all day long use these same pans. The best food you've had at the best restaurant in town was cooked on a pan that costs less than 13 bucks though, admittedly, the top-of-the-line pans go for a little more than that. Maybe $20.

It is true that restaurants use their pans so much they wear them out. A cheap nonstick pan in a restaurant might only last six months, but that is with near-constant use. At home, if you use it a lot, you might get five years out of it. But so what? It costs $12.95. In 25 years, you've spent only 65 bucks, less than half of what a more prestigious brand would cost you.

I recently bought my brother a cook's knife for his birthday. It might be a weird birthday gift, but he needed a good knife that stays sharp, and besides, I'm a bit of a knife geek. So I went to a restaurant supply company and picked him up an 8-inch Dexter Sani- Safe cook's knife. It only cost well, I don't want to say how little it cost, because there is a possibility he could read this column. But let's just say it was cheap enough that I bought myself one at the same time. …

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