Eat. Play. Live. If we were to create our own instagram-addled version of Liz Gilbert’s journey, it would probably involve visiting Sonoma, California and floating through the Williams-Sonoma store on Broadway with no regard for time or space. Different people have different tastes: Some swipe right on their phones for men, others swipe right for shoes, and we swipe right for sofas, stoves and sifters…so sue us.
As most of you know, us potato-heads like to blur the lines between industries, so when we found ourselves in a space that hosted our dream open kitchen, a to-die-for master bedroom, a copper pot collection that would tempt Julia Child herself, shelves ensconced in white apilco porcelain, an edible garden and a patio fit for brunching or barbecuing or both at once – all in one destination – we kind of fell in love.
We could eat, play and live forever in this space, and Chuck Williams did just that. The store was reopened last year in the exact same spot as the original space (opened in 1956), which Williams’ lived in at the time. Turns out, Chuck Williams did what us potatoes attempt to do every day: He made you bring how you live with food home with you. Seriously, how we do it with interviews, recipes and city guides; he did it with apilco porcelain, bundt pans, KitchenAids and copper pots – things only used back then by restaurants and professional chefs, not home cooks.
Williams and his friends had a love for French cooking, but America’s experience with cooking at the time was all about convenience (freezer, oven, repeat). Cooking from scratch wasn’t cool just yet, and he wanted to make it so. It was on a trip to Paris where he discovered the mecca of cookware, and slowly brought it all back to the US, one Le Creuset pot and duck press at a time. And the rest, as they say, is history.
We picked our favorite essentials from each section of the store that will make your life. No seriously, one could live forever in this space on Espuny olive oils, owl-feather throws, Flappin’ Jack pancake mix and fabric samples…too bad they close at 6 pm.
*Sponsored by Williams-Sonoma.