I don't get to a W-S too often, but today I was at two malls (the horror!) and needed to waste a little time. A few things of note:
First, the sale prices appear to continue. I think they're feeling the crunch. They're really pushing All-Clad d5 and Greenpan pans. Oh, and Staub is now the marquis CI, and the color du jour is the deep purplish blue.
Second, there appear to be a lot more single-purpose gadgets than I remember, e.g., a jalepena corer (and grill rack for them), and a mango pitter, but fewer multi-use.
Third, in the two stores I went in, both had almost a *complete* line of Mauviel copper, including the big ticket specialty pieces--turbotiers, braising boxes, large poachers, etc. These pieces are still tinned, but most others are bimetal. IMO, the only *regular* piece bearing a faint resemblance to the quality of the old W-S is the rondeau, which is still thick and heavy and tinned. Not a bargain though at $525.
Fourth, Bob Kramer's Shun is now at $299 (down from $375), and it is so light I think it's a turnoff.
Fifth, W-S had a high-end Heckels (the Chronodur, or something like that) that appears to be the same profile and geometry as their really expensive ($1K) Damascus Kramer knock-off. But not the $$$ knife itself. The Chronodur was a nice feel and shape.
Sixth, I finally handled the Shun "dual density" bread knife, and was totally underwhelmed. The handle and "bolster" are slightly Japanese-D shaped, but the blade itself was perceptibly crooked, and I found the serrations almost crudely cut.
Last, the selection of de Buyer carbon steel pans is up, and the prices for them seemed very reasonable.
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