Cool Cooking

Cool Cooking

107 King St. 467-6544

It seems only appropriate that a former downtown dining staple (Tutto Pasta Trattoria) is yet another food-oriented space—this time offering the perfect foundation for making your favorite dishes at home. If you visited The Kitchen Gallery‘s previous location on Willy Street, you’ll notice they’ve diversified their offerings and the new shop is twice as big as their former digs.

“Every small kitchen store reflects the personality of the owner. There’s an important element of who we are here,” says co-owner Tom Christensen. “There is more of a foodie awareness in Madison—there’s an awakening of buying local, local food and cooking.”

The open, airy shop, with exposed ductwork, metal shelving and a clean white palette, keeps the focus on the merchandise rather than the décor. And Christensen and co-owner Stephanie Kessenich are so well versed in their product selection that they can even tell you everything about the construction of that spatula, Dutch oven or skillet. Of course, they also use most everything they sell, too.

The couple is looking forward to eventually opening a cooking school in the back space of the store. For now, they’re enjoying educating customers on the virtues of cooking without Teflon-coated pans and why glass containers are best for storing food.

“We think if you’ve walked through our doors, you’ll be back,” says Christensen. “We’ve got product we’re proud of.”

From top to bottom:

Scramble up some eggs, bake some cornbread or cook a brat in Alisa Toninato’s FeLion Studios cast-iron Wisconsin skillet. $125

Pick up delicious blends by Milwaukee-based Spice House like Bronzeville “Galena Street” Rib Rub and West Indies Style Barbecue Seasoning Rub. Also look for O Oils and O Vinegars. $5-$22

These colorful Staub ceramic Dutch ovens, sauce pots and roasters are similar to Le Creuset’s, but the brand is “older and better,” says Christensen. Each piece is glazed twice and has better heat distribution to keep the food inside warm. $99-400

Mauviel makes professional-grade, tri-ply pots and pans of copper and stainless steel. Many chefs on cooking shows use them, Christensen says. This brand’s pans are more heat-conductive, which means they warm up quickly and allow better heat control when cooking. $100–$1,500

Christensen is passionate about knives, but in a strictly foodie way. He can tell you the virtues of each brand—they sell Wüsthof, J.A. Henckels, Shun and Victorinox. Keeping the blade sharp is imperative for the life of the knife, he says, and The Kitchen Gallery offers in-store sharpening, too. $7–$600

Rösle and J.A. Henckels make a variety of grilling tools, like this shish kabob grill rack and skewer set. American Spoon’s roasting and grilling sauces will put your grill masterpiece over the top! $9.50-$50

Contact Shayna Miller at