Tools of the Trade

Three spots where those in the know go to stock their kitchens

By Mike Thelin February 15, 2010 Published in the March 2010 issue of Portland Monthly

40 foodlovers toolstrade lethcb

Woody Bailey, the knife-sharpening master behind Zen Blades.

Zen Blades

Tired of messily mushing tomatoes instead of slicing them? Thanks to Woody Bailey’s mobile knife-sharpening service, help is just an e-mail away. Bailey’s early obsession with cutlery led him to renowned Seattle blade-smith Bob Kramer, who taught him a seven-step sharpening process that Bailey likens to smoothing wood with progressively finer grades of sandpaper. He now teaches knife-handling skills at Oregon Culinary Institute, where you can stop in and get your knives sharpened for $5 per blade (call ahead at 503-961-6200). Otherwise, he’ll show up at your door in his Zen Blades truck if you have at least 10 blades for him to sharpen. Sounds like an excellent excuse for a block party.

Le Creuset Company Store

1001 N Arney Rd, #618, Woodburn, 503-982-2520

With a host of top-notch national kitchen stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Whole Foods Market, and locally owned Kitchen Kaboodle here in town, high-quality cookware is easy for Portlanders to come by. But home cooks on a tight budget have great options too. Nestled into the collection of Woodburn Company Stores just 25 minutes south of downtown on I-5, the Le Creuset outlet is a cook’s paradise—discriminating shoppers will find Le Creuset’s cast-iron, enamel-coated cookware at prices slashed by 20 percent or more.

Rose’s Equipment Inc

207 SE Clay St, 503-233-7450

Since it opened in 1980, Tom and Karen Rose’s small commercial kitchen-supply shop has grown into an internationally recognized showroom selling new and used equipment to restaurants—and the savviest home cooks—across the nation. You’ll find restaurant-quality porcelain dinnerware, cutlery, utility knives, cutting boards, martini shakers, food mills, potato ricers, whisks, slotted spoons, French onion soup crocks, espresso cups, teapots, heat-resistant spatulas, wine glasses, butcher block–capped stainless steel worktables, squeeze bottles, lobster crackers, industrial-strength blenders, and just about every other kitchen tool you can imagine—all at prices that rival Ikea’s.

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