Cook Shops in Paris, France
Back from a long weekend in Paris, with an hour or so to explore some cook shops on the way to see how well bread bakers are catered for - I have already booked a return trip to get some more leisurely shopping done, without having to bore others with my passion for kitchenware.
The great news is that possibly the best selection of shops are located within walking distance in the same area: in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements, on the Right Bank of the Seine (ie. north of the river) and close to the Les Halles shopping centre.
Most of the cook shops are on, or close to, Rue Montmartre, which is only a short distance from the well-known foodie street of Rue Montorgueil.
18/20 rue Coquillière, 75001 Paris - http://www.e-dehillerin.fr
A cavernous warren of a place, aimed at the restaurant trade and - based on two visits - undeserving of its reputation for ignorant service. While French chefs may get extra special treatment, at least half the visitors there the other day were speaking English (or at least American English). Not much specifically for bread bakers, this is a general store for the trade, including items that dedicated tourists could only get home by having them shipped. Untidy, dusty, badly lit, somewhat disorganised and all rather charming!
13 rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris - http://www.mora.fr/fr/index.asp
A nice, well-stocked shop, with tons of equipment for pastry-bakers and a fair selection for bread-bakers. Helpful staff. Better for smaller items of equipment that might just fit in your suitcase on the journey home.
36 rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris - https://www.labovida.com
Nice, roomy ground floor and even larger upstairs area of equipment and catering supplies. Aimed slightly more towards domestic cooks than the trade. Stock includes items of interest to bread bakers. Staff seemed both cheerful and helpful, without being overbearing.
48/52 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris - no website
If, like me, you love white porcelain tableware, this store is for you (and curiously if you need to be spoiled for choice over pepper and salt mills). Bread bakers aren't forgotten and they have a large selection of banettons, most of which appeared to be of woven man-made materials, rather than natural products. Very pleasant and helpful staff. At a guess, I'd say that this store is primarily aimed at restauranteurs and hoteliers.
6 rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris - http://www.deco-relief.fr
A small, but well-stocked paradise for those who bake sweet things, but possibly not much for bread-bakers.
I didn't get time to visit:
- G. Detou - 58 rue Tiquetonne, 75002 Paris - (no website) - Apparently a haven for baking goods and the great pastry chefs shop here for ingredients that can’t be found anywhere else.
- Coin-Cuisine - 110 rue du Théâtre 75015 Paris (15th Arrondissement) - http://www.coin-cuisine.com
What did I come back with?
The results of this (very short) spending spree in the photo:
- A long (and excessively expensive) banetton from Mora;
- An Apilco porcelain draining plate from A. Simon;
- A bottle of the Italian "Alkermes" liqueur, which I need to make "gelato zuppa Inglese" and couldn't bring back from my last trip to Rome (more on cook shops in Rome at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/42978/specialist-cook-shops-rome-italy).
What I didn't manage to find, and probably the only thing missing from my bread baking equipment, was a transfer peel for getting baguettes from a couche to a peel - I know I could easily improvise, make one, or get one from http://bakerybits.co.uk/baguette-peel.html.
Needless to say, I can't wait to be back in November. If there are places I've missed, or readers would like to contribute recommendations, please do.
I got one of these recently:
might be a little more versatile than the peel? I'm using it to transfer from the couche to the larger wooden transfer board that I use to peel breads in/out of my ovens...
Sounds like a good trip though - did you get a price on any proper copper canelé moulds? they seem very expensive to buy here - although the silicone ones off amazon seem OK, it would be nice to have some authentic copper ones...
Thanks so much for the alternative suggestion, Gordon this looks like a good one. While I was in Paris I couldn't remember the correct name for what I wanted: planchette à pain. With my less-than-elementary French, I was too embarrassed to ask for "that-wooden-thing-for-transferring-baguettes-from-a-couche". I have to say that I have made some good purchases from Bakery Bits in the past, so might well go for it.
I'm afraid I wasn't looking for copper canelé moulds, though I did see a few. The shops were full of silicone ones, which did look very reliable. But there is something delightful in having the really traditional thing, isn't there?
Here is what I use for a flip board/hand peel. It is nothing more than a piece of floor board that I picked up from my local flooring/home supplies company. It couldn't have been more than maybe $2 or $3 for the full length plank which I then cut down in size. Save the quid and put them toward the purchase of a box of double sided razor blades and lame holder!
Hi Alan, thanks for the suggestion. I have a load of off-cuts of solid oak floor panels just like this in the attic, though mine might be a little too thick. What an ingenious substitute, though. Happy baking, Colin.
I went to Lowes in the lumber section they have small dimension pieces for crafts and finish work and found a perfect piece for very little money
Very handy suggestion for an alternative. Many thanks. Colin.
store. There is huge one, more than 150,000 SF, 5 minutes from my house with every kind of dry, refrigerated and frozen food and cooking /baking equipment and gadgets of every kind. It took me 4 trips just to get around to all of it.
I feel like a rube using a piece of thick cardboard for a transfer peel:-)
Goodness me, Dabrownman. That sounds like one mighty place. We have some similar stores in the UK, though I don't think anywhere near that size. None of the shops in Paris weren't massive, but they did carry a great range of products. I enjoy having things in my kitchen which remind me of previous trips away, and it's always sad when one of them reaches the end of its working life. I'm sure your cardboard transfer peel does wonderfully well. I think I've seen a photo of it in action in a previous post? Happy baking, Colin.
another one and glue it to the first one to stiffen it back up and make it flat again:-)
Haha! I hope that wasn't too traumatic. A bit more flexibility there than a wooden one, I guess? Happy baking. Colin.