cooks' essentials


7 kitchen utensils stylish enough to display.


{xtypo_dropcap}A{/xtypo_dropcap}ll cities are full of surprises — little shops hidden down alleyways, hole-in-the-wall eateries with the best snacks in town, and locally made products in which only the delightfully dialed-in can indulge. Sacramento is no different. It, too, is home to surprising kitchen delights to make cooking, baking, and prepping easier and more stylish. Check out these seven tools for home cooks made by artisans and cooks right here in the Greater Sacramento area.

Bread lame and dough whisk

Zatoba bread lame

Zatoba dough whisk

Zatoba, created by cook and woodworker Wyllis Greenway, specializes in wooden kitchen tools and currently carries the bread lame (pronounced lahm) and dough whisk. The tools are handcrafted from black walnut and feature polished brass hardware.

“I think it is important to make things beautiful as well as functional,” Greenway says. “Life and work should be artistic and fun.”
Right now the lames help the World Food Programme, a humanitarian organization that fights hunger and food insecurity, as Greenway donates a portion of the proceeds of each sale. Also, a gift package, including the lame, a linen bread cloth, and the dough whisk will be available soon. $29.95 for bread lame; $17.95 for dough whisk;

Sharp knives

Mac Knife

Located in Sacramento, MAC Knife sells stain-resistant knives made in Japan. They are hand ground and sharpened and a hybrid of Japanese and Western craftsmanship. The company boasts that it offers “the world’s sharpest knives,” and it has sold more than 25 million knives since its creation in 1964. Original Series knives $30 – $100 per piece;

Copper wire whisk


Created by Chris Theofel, a University of California, Davis, grad, the CopperTango has a simple goal: Make any bowl a great vessel for perfect egg whites. This whisk uses a natural copper chemical reaction to create stable, fluffy egg whites, without a stabilizer such as cream of tartar. No need to splurge on a copper bowl when this whisk can turn any bowl into a copper chemical reaction. The whisk is sold at area Nugget Markets and numerous locations in California and the country. 10-inch French $29.95 and 12-inch balloon $44.95;

Wooden oven pulls and spoons

Wooden oven pull

Known as The Spoon Man of Placerville, Roger Filippelli is a wooden spoon legend. He has been making kitchen tools from recycled and exotic woods for nearly 25 years. His rustic, handcrafted products range from a wooden oven pull in the shape of a fish to spoons that come in their own tabletop stand. Find Filippelli’s tools at craft fairs around the Greater Sacramento area. Studio: 766 Chamberlain St., Placerville; 530-622-9696.

Glass olive oil decanter

Glass Decanter6227

Tate and Aaron Bezdek are the creative minds behind 2BGlass in Orangevale. The two spend much of their time outdoors, so their designs are inspired by nature. Each item is designed and crafted in their shop by hand and one at a time. The textured glass olive oil decanter is hand blown by the Bezdeks and adds artistic style to any kitchen. $45 – $50;

Ceramic garlic grater

Ceramic Garlic Grater edible

Ceramic artist Bella Williams of Tracy-based JLVision produces functional, ceramic kitchen tools for the garlic-loving cook. Her garlic grater is made from stoneware clay and is dishwasher and microwave safe. It even comes with a display stand so you can prop it up while you work, or just admire it. $23.89;