On Point: Where The Pros Go
(ed note: If you can't see the interactive map through this post, please visit www.unprofessionalcookery.com.)
Quality ingredients and knowledge aside, you want to know what will set you apart from the average bear in the cooking world? Do you really want to know what is really going to make or break a dish (not literally)?
Your tools! Having the proper equipment to cook with is a key part of pulling off a cooking project with ease and perfection. But where do the pros shop?
The quick answer is: Not where you shop. If you live in New York, most chefs (and knowledgeable home cooks) shop at intimidating looking restaurant supply houses or hidden stores far from the streets below. Why?
Professional restaurant equipment supply houses oftentimes offer a better deal than home stores for tools and cookware. These stores also offer streamlined, pared down tools that will stand the test of time through repeated uses and abuses.
Although most of these places lack the charm, cleanliness and greeters of big box stores, they are open to the public and will sell in small quantities these days compared to yesteryear. Here’s our favorite picks for the professional and home cooks alike. Get on your best barganing face and load bearing shoes, because you’re going to come home strapped with kitchen gear!
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Chef Restaurant Supplies (294 Bowery): The ultimate kitchen supply store. Need anything from a hand ice shaver to mismatched dinnerware? Look no further.
JB Prince (36 East 31st Street, 11th floor): This place is the Disneyland of cooking supplies. Although the prices are higher, all the equipment is new and pristine. They also have a very knowledgeable staff on hand to answer all your questions.. politely.
Bowery Kitchen Supply (183 Bowery): Although this place does have a second store in the Chelsea Market geared towards home cooks, everyone from Mark Bittmann on down has reviewed this place. Worth a stop in!
Bari Restaurant Supply (240 Bowery): Need a pasta machine stat? How about a Hobart mixer? You can find all the mechanical equipment that you need here, plus more.
Daroma Restaurant Equipment (231 Bowery): Although not as specific as Korin, rumor has it that this place has an extensive knife collection.
Empire Food Service Equipment (209 Bowery): Always a classic!
Win Restaurant Supply (318 Lafayette): This place is so big that they have a second store in Long Island City off of Northern Boulevard. Quite literally, they have EVERYTHING.