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Cat De Orio's Eleven Williams-Sonoma Must-Haves

Photo: Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
Photo: Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

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The Williams-Sonoma store in Lincoln Park hosts its opening bash tonight, and the host committee includes local tastemaker (er, literally) Cat De Orio. The new host of Check, Please! is an expert on all things kitchen and a passionate home cook. She enthuses over pasta-roller attachments the way some salivate over Louboutin pumps, so there's no better guide to Fremont street's new culinary wonderland than Cat. (And trust us, you may need one. There is a lot of kitchen goodness to wade through there.)

Here, Cat shares her tips for ten must-have items from the new store. Actually, make that eleven. You can't ask a gal to give up her champagne saber.

Your shopping guide, Cat De Orio

1. KitchenAid mixer: It's an absolute must! I've had mine for years and adore it—and now with all of the fab new attachments, it's quickly becoming the go-to kitchen appliance for all my culinary tasks.

2. "KitchenAid stand mixer pasta roller attachment: When my nana was still here, we used to make over a dozen pounds of pasta for the Christmas Eve meal together and when this attachment came out, it made our job so much easier. I love it so much, I just ordered the KitchenAid pasta press attachment so I can make homemade bucatini, my favorite type!"

3. "Global Sai three-piece Knife Starter Set: I like to buy lots of knives, but Global is my favorite brand for everyday use. I have small hands and these just fit and feel the most balanced for me—the sleek Japanese design is an added bonus."

4. "Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender: This is the Aston Martin of blenders—there are not enough words for me to express my loyalty to this blender. Mine is more than a decade old and still works like the first day I splurged on it. However, I'd love to upgrade to the newer one with all the fantastic new functions."

5. "All-Clad Copper Core 15-piece Cookware Set: This set was the first serious set of pots and pans in which I invested. I add a few pieces to the set each year. I love that they are durable, easy to clean and give the superb heat conductivity of a copper pan."

6. "Swissman Peelers and Microplane Graters: I'm not into all kinds of kitchen gadgets, but these make peeling dozens of potatoes, grating cheeses and zesting citrus a cinch!"

7. "Breville Electric Citrus Press: I own this press and am not sure how I lived without it. Fresh juice is an absolute must when crafting cocktails and this press turns juicing for my circle of swillers into child's play."

8. "Rectangular Chalkboard Wall Planter: I live in an old school loft with timber ceilings, hardwood floors and exposed brick walls—I love the burst of life this vertical herb planter will bring to my dining area! The fact that I can trim fresh herbs as needed while cooking is not so bad either."

9. "Laguiole en Aubrac Ebony and Ivory Steak Knife Set: I am absolutely mad for Laguiole knives—I have multiple sets, but this set made of ebony wood and fossilized ivory mammoth tusks is at the top of my wish list. Who knew cutlery could be so chic—leave it to the French! Setting your table is no different than dressing oneself—one thing should make a statement and these definitely do."

10. "Riedel Mamba Decanter: The sleek, serpentine shape of this lead crystal decanter makes for a stunning presentation—It's definitely not something I need, but I've never let that get in the way while shopping."

11. "Laguiole Champagne Saber: I know I'm supposed to name my top ten, but I have one more! I have a flair for the dramatic and ever since Adam Segar taught me to saber a champagne bottle while in New Orleans, I think a proper saber is a must-have for my bar. Holiday present—hint-hint."
· Williams Sonoma [Official Site]
· Check, Please! [Official Site]


1550 North Fremont Street, Chicago, IL