All-Clad in Toronto
I'm thinking of taking the plunge on a good cookware set as my old one never really distributed heat all that well and I would like to purchase a better quality set. I'm looking at the All-Clad 14 piece stainless steel set approx $1100. A number of things:
Any comments on all clad? Is it worth the investment?
Does anyone own/use this set? Are there things to watch out for or things you wish the set included?
Anyone know of a place in GTA to buy the set and save some $$$?
Folks, please keeps responses focused towards finding All-Clad in Toronto. act1966, you can post to the Cookware board to get feedback on All-Clad and alternatives. Thanks!
The Bay, William Ashley & Williams Sonoma sells the sets, and I think individual pieces as well . Unless you're going to use everthing in the set, you might be better served choosing the pieces that you will actually use and simply purchasing those rather than the set. I think they're worth the investment.
Stephen - you're not going to save a ton of $$$, unless you look at buying "off" pieces at the discount table at Williams Sonoma (at the eaton center... I saw them there on Monday)
But if I recall - I think the Bay may have the best prices... I bought a set around christmas time and while they didn't go on "sale" - they threw in a whole bunch of bonus items - oven mitts, mixing bowls, etc. I think All-Clad is worth the money and they are just goregous. They perform well for me.
(on a slightly off topic note - you can probably get them in the US for way cheaper... apparently)
I have a bunch of All-Clad (started, I think, with the smaller set & have added pieces to suit over time). Cook with other brands too, depending on what I'm doing (prefer Le Creuset for stove-oven transfer). Agree with Apple that AC performs very well - great heat distribution, easy to maintain. I'd definitely buy it again if I had to. I recall The Cooks Place on the Danforth having periodic deals on the sets, but I haven't taken note in awhile. That said, my hub's Lagostina set (their "better quality" line - quality on the Lagostina label varies tremendously) from Kitchen Stuff Plus on Yonge (bought back in the day, but trying to stay local!) does a good job too (for under half the price), and I don't notice any difference unless I'm doing very fussy stuff (or disappearing from the kitchen a bit longer than planned).
I bought a 15 piece set last year in upstate NY for nearly 35% less than the Canadian retail price (around $1,000, versus over $1,500 at the time). I think the Canadian prices have dropped a bit (Golda's kitchen has the 14 piece set now for $1,340: http://www.goldaskitchen.com/merchant...), so it might be worth just buying it locally now. I highly recommend The Cook's Place on the Danforth, from a customer service standpoint. Do check with them on pricing though, as unless they're doing a special sale their prices on All-Clad are basically MSRP.
I know we're supposed to keep this thread TO-centric, but for what it's worth: All-Clad is fantastic, by the way. I've been really, really happy with my pots and pans. I cook on a gas cooktop, and find that I get very even heat distribution with the All-Clads, and no burning of food or sauces on the sidewalls like you get with some other cookware.
While you certainly won't be unhappy with All-Clad, a food professional friend of mine suggested checking out Cuisinox (www.cuisinox.com) as an alternative.
She describes it as a very well-made, Canadian, All Clad lookalike (3 layers, bottom, and sides) from Quebec. It's apparently much cheaper than All Clad and is available by the piece. She feels that it performs better than All-Clad.
Note that I have never personally used any Cusinox cookware, but I do respect her opinion. It's available at Nella Cutlery's (www.nellacutlery.com) two locations -- Queen East and Norfinch Drive.
I used to work at a place that sold All Clad (but not one of the big-name places) and maybe it was because we were a smaller retailer, but we weren't ALLOWED to put AC on sale...it was part of the deal of selling it. At Williams-Sonoma they have rotating promotions where a certain piece (usually something 'auxiliary' like a grill pan, etc.) will go much cheaper and usually with some bonus item like mitts or an apron, but I don't think that the big sets ever go on sale (I know someone who worked part-time at WS for 1/2 a year just to get staff discounts on AC...her paycheques didn't cover all the pans she bought!!).
All that said, they're FANTASTIC and you won't regret it. Just buy a set, and wait to buy all the extra fun pieces when they go on WS promotion. The nice thing about some of the smaller places mentioned on the lists here is that except for the promotions they're not more expensive, and you can also special order items - I bought a 10 piece, and then ordered a lid for the (I think) 10" fry pan separately which is something that I'm not sure you could do at WS.
Can't comment on the set, but I have two All-Clad stainless pans bought years ago and still use them all the time. Very durable.