If Stephanie Clark could survive with only five kitchen tools, she would have a Microplane zester, a wooden citrus reamer, a Peugeot pepper mill, a Le Creuset pot and a Global chef knife. Luckily for her, the kitchen store she has owned for almost 22 years carries hundreds of items beyond her five essentials, so she is well stocked for any situation.
For over two decades, Haute Cuisine has occupied the same cosy and bright spot on the Broad Street entrance to Trounce Alley, and has experienced success in attracting local loyal customers, as well as enthusiastic culinary tourists. Clark’s space is packed with a surplus of beautiful and useful cooking and kitchen tools including at-home necessities, quirky gadgets and a large selection of cookbooks that are inspired by Clark’s own personal collection (her “obsession”). Everything in her store is thoughtfully handpicked and organized with intention and purpose, fuelled by Clark’s lifelong affair with cooking and food.
Although Clark always knew that she wanted to have her own business in gastronomic retail, she began her culinary career as a caterer in Vancouver before opening Haute Cuisine in 1990. Having had significant experience with different types of food, gadgets, tools, and spaces, Clark admits that it was a natural progression. Since she opened Haute Cuisine’s doors for the first time all those years ago, it’s clear that her dreams have become a successful reality – something she attributes to great staff, customer service and the fact that they provide items for all types of clientele, from those just starting out to the most seasoned professional chefs.
Never wanting to respond with “no we can’t get that for you,” Clarke has neatly packed her store full of such favourites as the colourful Fiestaware as well as more obscure and rare items that many customers might not be familiar with until they step foot in her store. Always up on current trends, she notes how she’s seen a definite move towards comfort foods such as macaroni and cheese, potpies and braised dishes. She’s also noticed a shift to artisan style bread making, and is happy to supply tools and information to customers looking to toss their machines in favour of more manual approaches.
In fact, Clark is happy to provide in depth information and guidance to all customers no matter what their queries. Whether you are in fact looking for those top 5 must-have items, tools for the latest trends or that perfect recipe read, there’s no doubt you’ll find some kitchen inspiration at Haute Cuisine.
Haute Cuisine, 1210 Broad St Victoria, BC (250) 388-9906
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