E. Dehillerin

E. Dehillerin* is a renowned cooking utensils outlet located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It’s a totally no-frills store that has stayed pretty much the same since it was first opened in 1820, though I imagine they didn’t sell silicone baking mats then.

It’s open to individuals, but is mainly targeted at professionals. As a consequence, all prices are listed before tax (H.T., meaning “Hors taxes”), contrary to what is customary in regular French stores.

The sales people are helpful and knowledgeable, but they are definitely not the patient, shoulder-rubbing type.

When you step inside the store, the first thing that may strike you is how narrow the aisles are lined floor to ceiling with metal containers and coarse wooden shelves, the products stacked with no particular merchandizing effort. There is very little space to move around, and you keep having to make way for bustling sales reps checking the reference for sharpening stones, and for customers who are trying to get a closer look at the giant soup ladles right next to the stainless steel mandoline slicers you yourself are inspecting.

The sales people are helpful and knowledgeable, but they are definitely not the patient, shoulder-rubbing type. They’ll tell you which type of bakeware is the sturdiest, but they won’t hold your hand and nod along while you debate which size gratin dish you really need — if you’re looking for the French Williams-Sonoma, this is not it.

Beyond the sheer fun of trying to hold your ground in this beehive, wearing your freshest and most charming smile, the reward is this : top-quality, professional-grade gear at affordable prices, and good, no-nonsense advice. I love this store.

E. Dehillerin

On my recent visits, here’s what I got :

- A 20 cm chef knife, a 9 cm paring knife and a bread knife. Various brands (at varying prices) were available, and I liked that the ones the sales guy recommended were not the priciest, so I went for these. I had read that using good knives changed your cooking life, but only now do I realize that that meant.

- A mezza-luna (chopping tool with two handles and two half-moon blades). In French, it’s called a berceuse because of the rocking movement you make while using it. I had seen Nigella Lawson praise hers, and thought it looked neat. Turns out it chops fresh herbs like a breeze, and is a lot of fun to use.

- A sharpening stone. Same as with the knives, the sales rep pointed me to this 4.47€ diamond shaped stone, away from the fancier ones with a handle.

- A sheet of this special plastic which makes it easy to work with melted chocolate. In French, it is called a feuille guitare.

- A silicon baking mat

- A pastry brush

- A set of six non-stick fluted-edged tartlet molds with removable bottoms

- A set of six shaping rings. These can be used to hold together layered appetizers or desserts while you make them, to cook crumpets or individual mousses, to shape rice/couscous/whatever for serving, as cookie cutters… See? And all this time you hadn’t even realized you needed them so bad!

- A set of locking tongs

- Ceramic baking beans

- An oven thermometer, which led me to realize that unfortunately our oven is, as supected, not as warm as it claims.

I also wanted to get copper canelé molds, because Maxence likes canelés so much and the ones we’ve made using our silicon mold are not as caramelized as the ones you buy in bakeries. But when I asked about them, the sales guy told me they were 8€ each and shared the secret to baking great canelés using a silicon mold: spray each canelé nest with baking spray, and sprinkle confectioner’s sugar inside like you would flour a cake pan. I have yet to try this tip, but will report back.

* E. Dehillerin is at 18 rue Coquillère, 75001 Paris. The name is pronounced roughly Uh-duh-il’-rin, that last syllable being the French nasal “in” sound, with a mute “n”.

If you get a chance to be in that area of Paris, there are several similar stores worth checking out in the neighborhood :
A. Simon (48 rue Montmartre, 75002 Paris – website)
La Bovida (36 rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris)
Mora (13 rue Montmartre, 75001 Paris – website)

E. Dehillerin

  • Barbara

    Dear Clothilde, I was intrigued by your post about Dehillerin. I have never been there, but my mother went to Paris several years ago and brought me a catalog. I was successful in ordering some stuff and as an added bonus, it was cheaper ordering it straight from France rather than buying it from an American company that imports cookware. Secondly, I was wondering if you ever tried their tip on the canneles and the silicone mold. I have a book written by a French baker (Pascal Rigo) which says you really need the copper molds and they have to be greased with beeswax to get the proper caramelisation. I’d love to know what you thought. Great blog! Barbara

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Barbara – I haven’t made canelés since then, so haven’t tried the tip yet! But the baking spray that I bought following the salesman’s recommendation is indeed a beeswax spray, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed! Canelés are on my mind these days, so I think I’ll bake some soon, and report back!

  • michael

    i also read mr. rigo’s book and was wondering how the beeswax worked on the silicon. i have a silicon mold and before searching the world for the copper was hoping success could be had with what i have-any info would be great michael-

    ps thanks for all the great tips

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Michael – I still haven’t given this technique a try, but my aunt Odile makes a mean batch of cannelés with her silicon molds, so it’s indeed possible! You can count on me for updates as soon as I try this…

  • Wendy

    Ah, DeHillerin. We stumbled across it purely by chance when we were in Paris for our Last Hurrah tour (I was 7 months pregnant with our first son) in 1998. It was closed (of course) for the lunch hour, and we had a hell of a time finding it again the next day. I bought a copper casserole, a butter melter and a basin for whipping egg whites. The sales help was very patient with my halting French (it’d be more halting today). So glad to hear it’s continuing to do well by doing good. Your blog is very nice, and congrats re: the Gourmet plug. I also like Meathenge, your Gourmet compatriot, although it’s rather more, um, earthy.

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Wendy – I do agree that Dehillerin is a must-see for any visitor who likes to cook, it’s Ali-Baba’s cave, and a glimpse into what stores used to be like, with its un-modern decor!

  • http://carolynsmith-kizer.com Carolyn

    How does one get a Dehillerin catalogue? I would love to be able to import or purchase a variety of French kitchen implements to resell to Nouvelle France Historical Reenactors. I am particularly looking for an earred limestone mortar and pestle. Wonderful blog–makes me wish I could sit down at your table and swap recipes!

  • http://chocolateandzucchini.com clotilde

    Carolyn – Check their website, they probably have contact information on there, and you can ask them, I’m sure they speak English!

  • Huck

    My wife and I have bought three pots from Dehillerin, and they are our prize possessions: stainless steel, copper-enclosed bottoms, extraodinarily beautiful (shiny stainless that stays shiny), wonderfully designed, a delight to cook in. Each trip to Paris we buy another pot — lids are separate, and we buy them too — and stuff it in our luggage. I agree with those who say it is a MUST on any visit to Paris. Located in the area of the old les Halles. And the sales staff is, as others have said, patient and helpful. A wonderful experience, shopping there, and the experience lasts a lifetime, as the pots last forever — heirloom pieces, even when used often!

  • Zosia

    The first time I went to Paris, I tried to find Dehillerin, but had no address, no internet and only the Paris phone book to go through. I thought I had it figured out and got on the Metro – who knows where I got off – it was NOT a nice area!! – and I retraced my steps quickly backhomewards. Two days from now, we leave for Paris and this time I am ready to shop Dehillerin, esp. since I know of Cluizel nearby. I will let you know if my experience this time is more encouraging!

  • longcloud

    Clothide,
    I have often come across recipes calling for the use of cheesecloth as a seive to obtain the liquid/juice. What is cheesecloth called in french? Where can i get them in France?

    Thanks.

  • Frank

    cheescloth is also called muslin (it’s calico I believe) or in French mousseline. Watch out though that’s also the name of a dried mashed potato. Muslin is much finer than any metal strainer so there is even less chance of anything getting through. It is a little difficult to strain thick liquids through muslin, especially if they are cold but thin liquids pass through easily. I’ve never seen it in France (I live in Bordeaux) I’m sure you can get it though, from somewhere like Metro maybe but if not you can get it by post from Lakeland in England – go to http://www.lakeland.co.uk and search for keyword muslin. I have visited Dehillerin and I agree, I have never seen such a fantastic store anywhere in the world, let’s hope it lasts another 200 years. Imagine Careme himself could have bought his pans from there! He lived just around the corner.

  • Barbara

    I visted Dehillerin on my first trip to Paris in 1996 after reading about the store in a magazine. It wasn’t easy to find but after much searching I finally walked through the door. The worn wooden steps make you realise what an institution it is. I like to think I walked on the same steps as many of France’s great chefs. I came home with a copper pan, a much loved rolling pin and a salt shaker. On subsequent visits to Paris I have not found the time to revisit but it’s now on my list for my next trip

  • Katie

    Dehillerin is dreamy! I could get lost among all the tiny pastry molds, or buried alive under the copper pots downstairs (and i’d be quite content!)

  • http://bostonhistory.typepad.com Charles

    Dehillerin is a marvel. The chinois I bought several years ago is still going strong despite heavy use. The last time I went I showed up just as they were opening with my daughter in a stroller (I don’t recommend navigating the aisles with a stroller) and managed to describe what I was looking for–a slatted wooden cutting board with a box below to catch crumbs like the one our friends in Sceaux have. I didn’t quite expect them to have what I was looking for in five different sizes, and very reasonably priced.

  • karli

    D’hellerin is the most amazing store! My husband and I go every time we are in Paris-the last time we brought back 5 beautiful copper pots and lids and they are so fantastic-it is hard to find the cooking grade copper here. They do need extra care and attention, though… They will ship, through their web site, and are quite good at responding to emails.

    Love the blog.

  • Eri

    Hello,
    I just have a question : I bought a pastry brush at Dehillerin today, and they smell VERY bad :-(
    Any tip to remove the smell ?
    many thanks in advance.

  • http://www.theconroygroup.com Nancy

    What memories reading the comments about this store! I visited Paris in the early 80s on business and had been told to buy pots at this store. I purchased a set of five of the heavy copper pots, 2 lids and 2 small frying pans. The box was so big & heavy that I could hardly lift it off the ground! I think I paid $125Cdn for the 5-pot set. I love them! The only challenge has been trying to figure out how to clean the inside of the pots as they very easily discolour, especially if you make a stew or use tomatoes in them. Anyone have experience cleaning these pots?

  • Gerri

    I always manage a trip to their store everytime I am in Paris. My husband and I still have the copper pots that his parents brought back home from their visit in the 70′s. Most of their sales people do speak English. When you go, just ask for Frank. He’s always willing to help you find whatever you need. We make sure to stop and see him everytime we visit.

  • Dana

    Gerri, you just made me laugh. I was in Paris with my culinary school 4 years ago, could it be that long ago, Frank was the associate that waited on me and all of my friends and instructors. He was a blast to work with. We laughed and had a great time $600.00 later I was a very happy person. Great memeories thanks.

  • Barbara

    I live in a small town in France and for the life of me couldn’t find any cheesecloths in any supermarkets or a cooking store. Went into a discount fabric shop et “voila!”, muslin (cheesecloths). Bought a meter to have around the house.

    By the way, is their a french web shop that sells pistachio paste?

  • http://www.yourpower2be.com Dominique

    Cher Clothide,

    Just found your website, it is good reading. I followed the link to Dehillerin and was very nostalgic for France again.

    I am living in London but do not get back very often.

    May I invite you to my food site http://www.foodwizard.yourpower2be.com

    it has some great recipes from around the world and some other items.

    Au revoir

    Dominique

  • http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/ Pille

    I forgot to thank you for this post last Spring, Clotilde. I went to Paris for the first time in May 2006, and went to E. Dehillerin with my boyfriend. It was our first proper date, and apparently he was so impressed with my knowledge about Paris food and shopping, that he soon asked me to move in with him:)

  • Paul LeBlanc

    This is the best culinary cookware store in the world. I first visited in the mid seventies and met Gaston, who serviced English speaking clientele. He was very generous with his time, and sold me some Le Creuset pans and Sebatier knives. I reunited with him in ’87, he was still a robust individual. By the third visit in ’97, he had passed, according to the previous owner of Benoit, because he did not drink enough. I loved his sarcasm. Ducasse now owns Benoit, where I heard Princess Di and Dodi had originally planned to go before a change that routed them to the fatal tunnel D’Alma. Pity, as Benoit is close to the Ritz, and the chauffer would have had an easier drive, but the papparazzi would have given them no peace.A pity that Sebatier is no longer represented much in the States. What I am really trying to accomplish here is to find a cast iron bundt pan with a 12″ diameter. I enjoy your blog.

  • Tamra

    Clothide, just recently found your website. Apparently I have been living under a rock. What a gem, thank you. I was not able to get to dehillerin on my last trip to Paris but this October, nothing can stop me! The information from your readers has made me even more hungry for this store than I was before. I can’t wait. Lovely blog, thank you.
    Tamra

  • http://www.blogging.la/profile.phtml?author=1560 frazgo

    Great post on E. D’ehillerin. I learned about it from a couple of bits on FoodTV and made it an absolute stop on our visit to Paris this spring. Even my kids liked the place.

    What you didn’t mention is that they are most gracious and helpful. I shopped and one of the employees kept the kids occupied.

    The cost of their copper pans were 1/3 the cost of the stuff I can get locally at William Sonoma AND it was better quality. This savings was even with that blasted VAT added in.

    I love the place. I am so glad I brought an extra suitcase just for my purchases. I highly recommend anyone going to Paris who loves to cook with shopping in mind make that a must stop. It’s also close to the Forum des Halles which has both an ReR and Metro stop.

  • Betty Ann Litvak

    Dear Clothilde,

    I received your delightful book just as I was preparing my 3rd trip to France in September, 08, and really enjoyed using it to find many culinary treasures. I did not have time to visit Dehilleron, but am in search of a French turning fork with 2 slim tines. They do not have a catalogue on their website. I emailed them, with no answer so far. Would you know of any other source for such a fork? I am the owner of a small cooking school in Ohio and recently attended our annual Culinary Conference where Anne Willan used one very effectively. Haven’t found a source in the US for one, and would love to obtain one. Any help you can give me will be appreciated.

    Betty Ann Litvak

  • Marsha Shannon

    Betty Ann,
    I purchased a Sebatier fork with wood handle and 2 long tines from E.Dehillerin in 1998…then purchased the matching Sebatier carving knife in 2008. Very pleased with both. Hope you hear from them soon, otherwise, send them another email.

  • Vicki

    This must be the store that was referred to in Julia Child’s memoir “My Life in France”. Her Cordon Bleu teacher/chef took her to the store and she instantly fell in love with it, went back to it again and again, and apparently spent serious money there.

  • http://www.kitchencookwaresetsandmore.com Kitchen Cookware

    Dehillerin, what a store! My wife and I were there once in 1998 and still marvel over the selection of copper cookware they had. A dream store for those of us who love cooking; I dropped quite a bit of money there!!

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