It never fails that the places and experiences I love most when traveling aren’t the carefully planned, well researched, guide-book-recommended must-sees. Oh, I do the planning and read all the books- I’m far too type-A to wing anything- but my favorite memories are always the things I stumble upon quite by accident while en route to the next thing on the list.

My trip to Paris last weekend was no exception. Having arrived 45 minutes early for an appointment (see type-A above) Carrie and I found ourselves wandering around an unfamiliar neighborhood before much of anything was open. In what can only be called destiny, our wandering took us to the doorstep of E. Dehillerin, my own personal Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

E. Dehillerin is a restaurant supply house but it’s also a temple to the art of cooking.

They have literally hundreds of thousands of items, crammed together in a state of organized chaos.

There are rolling pins of every shape, size and material.

Whisks, whisks, whisks.

And even more whisks.

The largest wooden spatula I have ever laid eyes on. Even more remarkable? They have pots large enough to require a stirrer that large! (I tried to get Carrie to climb inside one so that I could take a pic but she decided she’d rather have her dignity. Go figure…)

They have chef’s knives both expensive and affordable.

 

This is the “smalls” section. Oyster knife and glove? Check. Cheese trier? Check. Baking pans of every shape and size? Check. Cookie cutters, chocolate molds, pastry tips, thermometers, truffle planers, couscousiers? Check, check, check, check, check and check.

Have you ever seen such a lovely sieve?

This copper rooster is the E. Dehillerin mascot. If it didn’t weigh a thousand pounds and cost a thousands of dollars, it would be my mascot. Instead I contented myself with a handful of small things that fit my budget (and my luggage) a little better, including a few surprises for Zac.

If you are ever in Paris you should really put E. Dehillerin on your must-see list. Who knows what you will stumble across on your way?