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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Le Sanctuaire: Goods and Tools for Adventurous Cooks

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 6:56 PM

The tiny lobby of 315 Sutter, a narrow, nondescript building a couple of blocks from Union Square, gives little clue that a short ride up the elevator leads to one of most esoteric gastronomic destinations in the world: Le Sanctuaire. This unique shop offers a selection of exotic spices, salts, vinegars, and other seasonings; sous vide baths, liquid nitrogen tanks, and other postmodern kitchen tools; molecular-gastronomy requisites such as sodium alginate, methyl cellulose, and maltiol; and a selection of imported books by chefs such as Hestor Blumenthal, Ferran Adria (in Spanish), and Nobu Matsuhisa (in Japanese).


The most popular seasoning currently is the house-made Vadouvan ($4 per ounce), a French variation on curry powder made by cooking onions, shallots, and garlic until they're almost dehyrdated, tossing them with a blend of 11 spices, and leaving the mix to ferment for at least a week. Unfortunately, we can't bring this to you in Smell-O-Vision: the aroma is incredible.


Above, a selection of hardware. Clockwise from top left: pastry funnel, CocktailMaster (demonstration video on YouTube), mandoline, citrus juicer, miniature press, food mill.


Above, the Gastrovac. Below, its description:


Below, a scallop knife and a traditional Japanese fish-skin wasabi grater:


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Robert Lauriston


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