Cleavers, Hachoirs, Mezzalunas, and Mandolines
Care for cleavers, shears, hachoirs, mezzalunas and mandolines as you do your knives: hand wash and dry immediately - never place in the dishwasher! Then, wipe them down regularly with food safe mineral oil and sharpen as needed.
For mandolines, we recommend always using the hand guard (and use it before your glass of wine!), to prevent injury. If the blade becomes dull, have it professionally sharpened.
Copper, Steel, and Cast-Iron Cookware
Good pots and pans are a lifetime investment – you’ll use them daily, and they’ll last forever if you care for them properly.
We have a soft spot for copper cookware. Copper is ideal as it conducts heat very well and allows for even cooking. When cooking with copper cookware, be sure to wash by hand and dry immediately. Never put a copper pan in the dishwasher! Copper develops a natural patina over time and will never maintain that initial shine as when first purchased. However, copper is quite easy to clean and maintain. To maintain its brilliancy, we use coarse sea salt, half a lemon, and a little elbow grease to gently scrub the copper exterior to remove any oxidation. We then rinse with warm water and thoroughly dry. We also carry a copper polish made by the manufacturers of Mauviel for a deeper clean. For particularly stubborn spots, you can use a very fine steel wool and a little baking soda to gently remove. The more you clean, the better maintained they will be.
For French steel pans, it’s important to prepare it first. Prior to first use, clean the pan with very hot water to remove the beeswax from the entire pan. The beeswax is used to prevent the pan from rusting and to save time when seasoning. If at first use you notice any wax residue, use a paper towel to wipe your hot pan clean. For seasoning, cover the bottom of the pan with flavorless oil and heat for 5 minutes. Let the pan cool before draining the oil and then wipe clean with paper towels. Repeat the process a second time, and your pan is ready for use. After cooking, wash the pan in hot water, wipe with a soft sponge and dry thoroughly. Do not use dish soap and do not remove the black layer that forms at the bottom of the pan as it will make a solid film and create a non-stick surface. Dry thoroughly to prevent rusting and store in a dry place. The pan will darken with use, creating a naturally non-stick surface.
For cast-iron, if properly cared for and regularly seasoned, a piece will last over a lifetime. Never use detergent when washing a cast-iron skillet, and never let it soak. Wipe it out and scrub it with salt, then rinse and dry immediately. A new piece is always very porous, but the more you cook in it, the smoother it will get.
Wash and thoroughly dry by hand to prevent rusting. French tin develops a beautiful natural patina over time.
We enjoy using both 100% cotton and 100% linen kitchen towels and table linens. We recommend washing by hand or on the delicate cool cycle and let air dry.
We enjoy using our marble countertops and marble slabs in our kitchen. Marble is the ideal cool surface for rolling out tart crusts and pastry dough. We aren’t overly picky about them, and don’t mind a bit of age and patina. To maintain your marble surface be it big or small, be sure to avoid certain staining elements such as red wine, red fruits or lemon juice. Wash down your marble surface after every use and be sure to periodically add a food safe sealant to the surface to protect it.
Stoneware and Porcelain
It’s important to wash any stoneware and porcelain by hand with soap and water, and to dry it immediately when possible. We recommend avoiding the dishwasher to prevent chipping! To remove any stains, use a mixture of warm water and baking soda with a soft brush or towel.
Wooden Boards and Tools
We don’t use any plastic cutting boards at The Cook’s Atelier, as we feel wood is better for your knives. If properly cared for, a well-made cutting board can last a lifetime and longer. Be sure to maintain its character by oiling it with a food safe mineral oil and drying thoroughly after each use. Never leave a cutting board in water, or it can crack.
If chopping garlic or onions, or anything with a particularly strong smell, remove the odor from the board simply by sprinkling coarse salt on the board and using half a lemon to work the salt around it. Rinse and dry the board immediately. To disinfect a board after cutting raw meat, wash it with hot, soapy water and dry immediately, and then wipe it with distilled white vinegar to remove any bacteria.
Be sure to maintain any wooden cook’s tools in the same manner. Thoroughly dry after washing and keep the tool maintained regularly with food safe mineral oil.
Vintage Chef’s Knives, Bone and Wooden Handled Knives
We use vintage carbon-steel Sabatier knives that we sourced from a third generation knife maker in Thiers. With sturdy wooden handles and hand-forged carbon-steel blades, these handmade knives are extremely sharp and over time, develop a beautiful patina.
It’s important to use a sharpening steel before every use, as it hones the edge and makes it extra sharp. If you’re planning to do a lot of chopping in one day, be sure to use the steel occasionally during the process to keep the knife nice and sharp as you are cutting. Periodically, as the knives become dull with use, we suggest sharpening with a wet stone.
Finally, it’s important to treat your knives with care. Never put them in the dishwasher: instead, wash by hand and dry immediately to prevent rusting. We store ours on a large magnetic knife rack as this helps protect the blade and tip from any damage. We also regularly oil the wooden handles with a food safe mineral oil.
Special note regarding our “Nogent” and "Canadien" Sabatier knives. Each knife has been oiled to conserve its natural elements. It will be necessary to hand wash and dry the wooden handles a few times to remove the coating. Be sure to maintain the wooden handles with food safe mineral oil.
We treat all of our vintage items with great care and recommend washing and drying by hand.