At Dehillerin, a world summit of foodies…


…is held every day. The delegates come from all over the world and they discuss: pots and pans, copper casseroles and cast-iron roasters, they’re looking for chopping boards, razor-sharp mandolines, moulds and tins and dishes of all kinds, forks and knifes and whisks for all purposes a cook could possibly think of.

Dehillerin is a shop in Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, almost 200 years old, a remnant of the fantastic market place “Les Halles” must have been until dismantled and moved outside town to Rungis in 1970/71. They sell what they call Matériel de Cuisine, clients are professionals and passionate amateurs and, see above, lots of tourists from all over the world. The salespeople give them a hard time, believe me, they refuse speaking other languages than noble French and their tone is rustic, to say the least.

Rustic charme: cooking supplier Dehillerin in Paris.

But you won’t care once you’re inside the labyrinth, descending into caves as confusing as Tora Bora and packed with material that is stuffing the rooms like discarded lumber in a long forgotten attic. It is a weird, wildly romantic place, a Parisian icon of its own. I’m afraid though that Dehillerin might be the last man standing in this neighbourhood.

Not long ago, just 50 meters further down the street on the right hand side, a wonderful butcher shop has closed, specialised in poultry and foie gras only to be replaced by a redundant bistro (which is still better than a redundant fashion boutique, I agree). Soon, the whole quartier will be remade and modernized which, in Paris, rarely means that things will improve. Dehillerin will last, hopefully.

2 comments

  1. Georg

    Dehillerin is one of my regular destinations in Paris and it’s a good place to buy extraordinary things like baking dishes for Madeleines, these things are hard to get in Germany. And yes, the salesmen are a little bit strange but depending on their mood they can even be funny. But this is as rare as white truffles, I’ve known it to happen once.

    • …strange is the correct word and, yes, I agree to the point that these Dehillerin guys can be quite amusing. Many of these rough Parisians (same is true for a certain kind of waiters!) are just crunchy on the outside yet very soft on the inside; I think, in fact, quite often they’re just playing…

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