Glass cake pedestals and ornately decorated ceramic dishes teeter in tall stacks. A single container holds a wire nest of no fewer than 14 different kinds of whisks. Baskets full of vintage cookbooks sit on the floor. If you're looking to acquire some eclectic and time-tested cookware, the Divisadero shop Cookin' is the place. And if you have a specific recipe or item in mind, owner Judith Kaminsky, with her trusty golden Lhasa named Tank by her side, has made it her life's work to help you find what you need.
With 25 years of experience under her belt, Kaminsky just may be your greatest ally in the kitchen. Although she has never clocked any hours in a professional kitchen, Kaminsky has been an enthusiastic baker throughout her life and knows every detail -- along with the whereabouts -- of every item in her extensive and seemingly chaotic collection of blenders, cast iron skillets, and silicone molds.
Thinking about investing in some cast iron? Kaminsky can walk you through her inventory and tell you how to season your new toy. Want to try your hand at candy-making? She wants to show you the perfect copper pot for the job. Ask, and after some searching, ye shall receive. And if you don't see that Julia Child or Escoffier cookbook you're looking for, that may be because Kaminsky has hidden a few gems out of the view of mere mortals, saving them for true gastronomic believers.
Upon hearing all this, you may then ask if she has kitsch like an Easy Bake Oven for sale, or if she's ever seen the show Hoarders. Your inquiries will be met with a solid 'no' on both accounts. Kaminsky means business, so if you can't take the heat, well, you know the rest.