Pasta maker Consiglio’s Kitchenware 1219 St. Clair Ave. W., 416-653-6622
Forget the pricy attachments for your KitchenAid Stand Mixer. To make genuine fresh pasta alla nonna—the rich, soft, eggy kind that’s the star of the dish instead of a mere sauce conduit—you want a stainless steel, made-in-Italy hand-crank device by Imperia.
Cast iron pan Cayne’s Housewares 112 Doncaster Ave., Thornhill, 905-764-1188
Home cooks not blessed with a lovingly seasoned, hand-me-down cast iron skillet should head to Thornhill kitchen mecca Cayne’s, where made-in-the-U.S.A. pans by Lodge invariably sell for much less than at any downtown shop. $30 for a 12-inch skillet.
Coffee siphon Green Beanery 565 Bloor St. W., 416-588-7700 ext. 249
French presses can be too sludgy and countertop espresso machines too expensive. The best compromise is a coffee siphon. The old-school glass devices, with their steampunk chemistry set looks, brew incredibly rich, smooth coffee.
Global knife Tap Phong 360 Spadina Ave., 416-977-6364
Anthony Bourdain gave Global knives a much-deserved shout-out in Kitchen Confidential. The Japanese steel blades are elegant and durable. Tap Phong, the Chinatown kitchen supply treasure trove, consistently has the best prices. $110 for an eight-inch chef’s knife, and one is all you’ll ever need.
Pepper mill Degrees Kitchen Store 2588 Yonge St., 416-484-8222
Those beautiful, wooden Peugeot pepper mills might be objects of home cook gadget lust, but the Unicorn Magnum, an unassuming black plastic number, is consistently rated higher by those in the know for its wide grind range and extraordinary pepper output.
By Andrew D’Cruz, Matthew Hague, Rachel Heinrichs, Emily Landau, David Lawrason, Jason McBride, Mark Pupo, Peter Saltsman and Courtney Shea. (Images: Liam Mogan)