Bowery Kitchen Supplies: New York, NY

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Don't let the name confuse you. While Bowery Kitchen Supplies does maintain a "to the trade" location on the Bowery, their main retail operation is in the Chelsea Market.

Bowery Kitchen Supplies serves the Food Network, which has studios and offices in Chelsea Market. Though I've never seen a celebrity chef perusing the aisles of Bowery Kitchen Supplies, pictures on their website prove Alton and Emeril are fans.

Bowery Kitchen has a wide selection of Emeril's cookware which is made by All Clad. They also have plates, glassware, utensils, gadgets, pots and pans including Staub. The store has a large selection of knives and staffs a specialist to help with knife shopping questions. Samurai Knife Sharpening is available in front of the store twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.

While some downtown cook shops are purely high-end or are very corporate, Bowery Kitchen Supplies is a unique experience, like a proudly independent bookstore providing thrillers and dense non-fiction alike.

The best buys are at the front of the store near the gelato stand. That's where they offer seconds and special offers. A few years ago I found a set Italian cereal bowls with faces on the front for about $20. I often take a quick look to see if those have returned. Right now they're featuring brown English pottery servingware here . . . if only that color brown was more appealing.

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My favorite on this visit was these small brightly colored dishes ($2.75 each). Putting tapenade, dips, pumpkin seeds or a small first course in these would be an inexpensive way to serve up some color for the holidays.

Manhattan doesn't really do malls. New Yorkers like to cab from shop to shop to pick up the best stuff, especially if we're food shopping for a party. That's the best part of Bowery Kitchen Supplies and all of Chelsea Market: there's so much under one roof. Say you want to bake a pumpkin pie. You can get butter and cream from the Ronnybrook Dairy, a pumpkin or squash from Manhattan Fruit Exchange, and then a pie plate and a cleaver at Bowery Kitchen.

Speaking of the Bowery, we're heading over to restaurant supply row over on the Bowery and see what's happening there for home cooks. If you have suggestions on stores we shouldn't miss, let us know.