Of course you come to Bay Area Bites for all your Bay Area food needs. But, we (unfortunately) don’t offer kitchen items for sale and we can’t help you find the perfect pineapple de-corer.
Yes, we suggested a number of items that most serious amateur chefs should have in their kitchen. And, in the process of researching those kitchen gadgets, it became clear that amateur chefs also need to know where to get the items they need to elevate their kitchens.
In that spirit here are some kitchen sites you should visit before you start purchasing willy-nilly:
Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table: These two are kind of the granddaddies of high-end kitchen stores. You can be virtually guaranteed that, if you’re willing to spend the money, you can find any kind of kitchen gadget you could possibly want at Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table.
Williams-Sonoma, of course, does many things besides kitchen items and also owns West Elm and Pottery Barn. Sur La Table, with just 100 retail stores to Williams-Sonoma’s 560, specializes in “the art and soul of cooking.” Either is a great place to start when looking for an obscure kitchen tool that you simply can’t live with out. And, the added benefit is that, with physical locations, you can always visit to test out how that zester really fits in your hands.
Provisions by Food52: Sure, Food52 started as website for cooks to read and talk about food. But, this past August, Food52 launched Provisions, which combines recipes with a catalog to buy the things you need to make the delicious-looking dishes in the pictures. The products are organized in collections like “European Pastires” or “A Long Winter’s Night” or the practical “Cleaning.”
Not as wholly comprehensive at the mega-stores and sites, Provisions by Food52 has more a hand-picked feel because the items are selected by the staff and by community members in Food52 — and some of those items are unique only to Provisions. It’s as much a place for inspiration as it is for serious checking off of your to-do list.
OpenSky: In its few years, OpenSky has changed its business model a couple times, but what it offers now are small online shops and collections picked by celebrities or organizations. You can choose to follow people like Bobby Flay or Cynthia Rowley, who then select their favorite items. Or, follow a store like S’more Bakery in New York to see everything they come out with. Or, just search by category and keywords. The idea is that you’ll see lots of different recommendations selected for you personally. While there are many different categories, the heavy focus is on food and kitchen items.
OpenSky has also developed a system of accumulating rewards points — for purchasing items or referring friends — and those points then give you discounts on future purchases. It’s a dangerous rabbit hole to go down! Expect to spend some time browsing and looking for one-of-a-kind items.
Cooking.com: On the other end of the spectrum is Cooking.com. The site, which has been around since 1998, prides itself on its corporate connections — owned by Target! founders from Disney! — and its massive collection of cooking items. And, we mean massive. You can find almost anything you want and the site frequently has sales or discounts. Cooking.com also offers a price match and satisfaction guarantee, in case that knife doesn’t do quite what you want it to.
There are plenty more niche sites for blenders or pastry items or baking or metal bowls made by hand in the USA. This is certainly not comprehensive, but hopefully it’ll put you on the digital trail of some good deals and handy kitchen items. Just don’t waste too much time browsing while at work!