Paris is one of the most magical places on earth. Artists and chefs alike have been inspired by it’s abundance of culture for centuries — including American-French chef, Julia Child. Julia spent much of her older years traversing the many culinary scenes across France. Her experience in French kitchens eventually led her to publishing the critically-acclaimed cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Though often scrutinized for her innovative takes on traditional French recipes, she found ways to stay true to the classics.
Related: Julia Child’s Chocolate Souffle
Where did Julia Child shop?
Aside from the many French restaurants Julia would frequent, her favourite place to go was E.Dehillerin — a French cookware store in Paris. Established in 1820, this historic landmark was Julia’s treasure trove of copper pots during her time living in Paris in the 50s’. During a recent trip to the city of lights, we had the opportunity to walk through this marvelous store and what we found was nothing short of magnifique.
What is E.Dehillerin?
E.Dehillerin is a foodie paradise. It’s quite obvious that all foodies have some sort of kitchen-related collection of sorts. Whether you’re cookbook enthusiast or mug collector, there is something to be said about a home cook with a stash full of kitchen goodies. For Julia, she was obsessed with French copper pots.
You might be asking: what makes copper pots so special? Well, they have the ability to heat up and cool down much quicker than conventional steel pots. This level of temperature control is what allows French chefs to have a mastery over delicate dishes and sauces to reach peak perfection. Julia’s collection itself was a marvel. Each piece of cookware was handpicked by Julia herself, and held sentimental value to her.
Dehillerin was the kitchen-equipment store of all time, a restaurant-supply house stuffed with an infinite number of wonderous gadgets, tools, big shiny copper kettles, turbotieres, fish and chicken poachers, eccentrically shaped frying pans, tiny wooden spoons and enormous mixing paddles… I had become a knife freak, a frying-pan freak, a gadget freak – and, especially, a copper freak! – Julia Child, My Life in Paris
What we discovered in E.Dehillerin
Upon our visit, we were treated with much of the same excitement as Julia. The store shelves were adorned with the same copper pots Julia would fond over including a myriad of other things. Rolling pins, chef knives, baking sheets and cast irons pans were just some of the incredible finds in E.Dehillerin. As foodies ourselves, we couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming compulsion to touch, smell and admire the space. The shop felt familiar, yet foreign — old, but timeless.
Unfortunately for us, there is only so much an airline will allow in one very small piece of luggage. So while we would have loved to take some of this beautiful cookware home, we might have to visit Paris again — but with more luggage. In the end, what we did find in E.Dehillerin wasn’t just quality cookware, but a sense of wonder and appreciation for what Julia might have felt when she first fell in love with French cooking.