February 2008

Cook like the Pros: Find the tools of the trade at Le Cookery

Author: Linda S. Hopkins

Everybody’s doing it. Men, women, teens and children are tuning into televised cooking shows and saying, “Hey, I can do that!” While celebrity chefs make it look easy, the key to achieving those same results at home lies in owning the proper tools and equipment. Want to cook like a pro? Step into Le Cookery at the Village at Wexford for everything you need to wow your friends and family.

If it has been a while since you’ve visited Le Cookery, prepare for a surprise. Under new ownership since May, 2007, the store is stocked with lots of new merchandise. Whether you are looking for basic cookware, unique serving pieces or a tool for a specific task, you’ll find the highest quality products at the right price.

While owner, Laurel Greif, acknowledges the fact that other area stores carry some of the same merchandise, she makes a special effort to find high-quality products and brands that are new and/or less commonly seen here. For example, along with the popular All-Clad bonded cookware and Staub cast iron, she is carrying Swiss Diamond, a superior line of nonstick pans, touted by professional chefs and home cooks alike for performance and durability.

Maybe you need small appliances or a good set of knives to complete your cooking arsenal. At Le Cookery, in addition to the familiar Cuisinart, you’ll find a full line of upscale Viking Professional appliances, including toasters, mixers, blenders and food processors along with two popular lines of German-made knives.

If you already have all the pots and pans, electrical devices and sharp implements you need, you’ll find many other products to make life in your kitchen more productive and exciting. These are not gimmicky gadgets, but real, time-saving tools, including classic Good Grips and WMF, a sophisticated European line of gourmet tools.

“We like to make entertaining and cooking fun, not a chore,” said Greif.

Depending on your definition of fun, there is much to be had at Le Cookery. Entertain with a Trudeau fondue pot, electric wok or European raclette. Give your Schott Zwiesel wine glasses a hearty clink and a toast to convenience as you toss them in the dishwasher at the end of the evening. (According to Greif, her husband, Chuck, loves demonstrating the break-resistant stemware. “He bangs them together and people are amazed,” she said.) For those with a more delicate touch who don’t mind hand washing, Greif also carries the classic Riedel stemware as well as locally-produced “Sexy Stems” hand-painted wine and martini glasses.

No matter what you’re cooking, Le Cookery can help you serve it elegantly with a variety of distinctive lines of serving dishes, including contemporary, colorful Ritzenhoff. “The idea is to collect them and not have any that match,” said Greif. Look for Vietri Italian dinnerware and accessories, Intrada fine Italian ceramics, Casafina (a Portuguese line of dishes that can go from freezer to oven to table), and a small collection of Thai serving pieces and linens.

Practical items include handmade aprons with button-on towels, soy candles, cookbooks, and favorite Lowcountry-style and celebrity-endorsed food products. Whether you are adding to your own cooking collection or looking for a gift, Le Cookery has something in every price range.

The real definitive difference at Le Cookery is the level of customer service. Every employee is familiar with the products and pleased to explain and/or demonstrate special features. Whether you are a seasoned cook searching for a specialty item or a beginner looking for the basics, you’ll find just what you need to cook like a pro.

Le Cookery is located at The Village at Wexford, Suite B-3. Stop in Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. or call 843-785-7171 for more information.

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