I am new to chef talk, and looking for your input regarding which cookware pieces to purchase for myself.
I am looking to buy a few new pieces of cookware as the pots/pans that I have are about 25 years old. My mom purchased a set for me as a gift for when I moved into my new home with my future husband. Well, there is no husband but I did purchase my own home a few years ago! lol. I don't use many of the pots/pans there were part of the set as I don't like them, and I find that with the few pieces that I do use, they don't cook well on my gas stove. I have been doing a lot of research on-line, and learning a lot about the different types of cookware. It's been quite overwhelming but there seems to be so much information! There's all clad, tri-ply, cast iron, aluminium, copper, stainless steel, non-stick (which seems to get a bad rap). I thought non-stick was a good thing. I guess it depends how you cook! I also learned of lines from Le Creuset, Staub, Paderno (which looks like a beautiful set, and it's made in Canada!), and Cuisinart, which is also really nice.
I was in Home Sense today, and noticed Lagostina, and Cuisinart. I held a few of the pots in my hand to get a feel for them, and see how heavy and comfortable they were. I really liked the Cuisinart but when I turned it over, it said it was made in China. I was disappointed as I didn't want anything made in China. I then picked up a few pieces from Lagostina, and they were comfortable. I liked the style, handle and design. I believe it's the Lagostina Impact Copper 5-ply. They had the saucepan and Dutch oven with cover. The 14 cm saucepan is $29.99 (reg. $50.00), 16cm saucepan is $34.99 (reg. $60.00), and Dutch oven $59.99 (reg. $100.00). They look good but I did notice a few scratches on the Dutch oven lid, and light black stains/streaks (?) around the top and bottom rim of the saucepan. They are not very obvious but when you are examining the, you notice it. I only mention this because I'm concerned that if I were to buy these pieces, they would easily scratch, or be damaged in some other way. This is what they look like:
I also saw Le Creuset. They were packaged in an orange box. I saw a few other Le Creuset pieces but they were not in a box, and when I looked at the bottom, it said, made in China. I'm guessing that these are not 'real' Le Creuset? The pieces in the box were from France but they looked very identical.
What do you think about the Lagostina pieces from Home Sense? It does not state where they were made although I have a Lagostina pot that was my mom's. She gave it to me when I moved out, and there is a sticker still on it that says "Made in Italy". I'm not sure if the Lagostina pieces from Home Sense or Winners are legitimate, or not.
I saw the Paderno set online via Costco. The reviews were positive, and the people who bought them are happy with them. I also went on the Paderno site, and they have some too good to be true specials. I sometimes wonder how something that cost $1199.00 now costs $279.99! I have noticed this not only with Paderno but with the other lines of cookware that I mentioned.
I have read great things about Le Crueset and would like to add a piece to my kitchen. I’m just not sure which one. I like the square griddle as I could grill fish and veggies, or the Dutch oven to cook tomato sauce, and soups.
A bit about me. I live just outside Toronto, Canada. I grew up in an Italian household so I learned to cook at home (from scratch). However, with that being said, I'm not an expert in the kitchen. I enjoy cooking (when I do), and am learning to prepare new recipes especially for friends, and family. I enjoy cooking for others, and learning new recipes including curry, Thai, and Asian cuisine. I love making pasta dishes but don't cook them often; mostly when I cook for others. I like to make healthy dishes such fish (salmon, trout, cod), greens, hearty soups (barley vegetable), squashes, etc. I eat eggs (scrambled, sunny side up, boiled) but I don't eat meat. I also make pancakes once in a while, and some baking. I don’t bake as much as I used to! I leave that to my mom. I enjoy the more traditional Italian baked goods that she prepares.
Thank you for your input.
P.S. I just saw this on the Canadian Tire site. It had positive reviews. What do you think? I read that most people prefer not to buy 'sets' and to buy one piece at a time, and to add to your collection over time but this seems like a good set.