Westerly Food recently sat down with Suzanne Lane, owner of Gray Goose Cookery to talk about everything you need in your kitchen. Suzanne, who has been in this business for over 30 years, recently opened the cookery when she semi-retired from her former shop in Mystic, Connecticut. Located across the street from The Cooked Goose on Watch Hill Road, Lane’s shop features thousands of items for both the table and the kitchen. You won’t know where to look first and you won’t leave empty handed!
WF: I read that you have been in the retail business over 30 years. What changes have you seen in people’s tendencies towards food and or coking during that time?
SL: The family has shrunk so there is less food being prepared and served. Hence smaller sizes on the cookware and serve ware. Also, the Baby Boomers are aging up and looking for healthy cooking techniques and lighter weight cookware such as Swiss Diamond which still performs well. The biggest innovation has been the use of silicone in tools, mitts, mats and covers. The most recent trend has been the “farm to table” movement, using fresh ingredients that are organic. It is great to see more and more people growing their own food; garlic, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and more in raised beds. In our area there is an abundance of fresh seafood and more interest in creating diverse seafood meals.
WF: In today’s day and age where people are shopping on line, and at discount stores such as TJ Maxx and Home Goods, how do small stores compete?
SL: We sell top quality products like Wusthof knives, Cuisinart small appliances, Le Creuset pans, Peugeot salt and pepper grinders, Swiss Diamond non-stick pans that can’t be found at discount stores. We provide 30 years of product knowledge, great personal service and gift wrap. We have an extensive collection of specialized tools. If we don’t have an item in stock we will special order hard to find items for our customers.
WF: Your space is quite large and you have managed to fill every inch of it- is it a bigger space than where you were previously located?
SL: Our new space is half the size, but we have high ceilings so it makes up for it. We also do not have a kitchen, but we teach our classes at other venues in the area. Our favorite is the Coogan Farm Kitchen in Mystic.
WF: For the home cook who has loads of room in their kitchen- what product can’t they live without?
SL: A Cuisinart food processor, Nespersso espresso maker, Marcato pasta machine, mandolin, Vitamix blender, Cuisinart immersion blender, or one of our rolling wood block carts.
WF: For the home cook with absolutely no extra space in their kitchen- what product should they have?
SL: A collapsible salad spinner, Wusthof in-drawer knife tray, copper or hammered steel hanging pot rack, or Epicurean cutting boards.
WF: You carry a vast collection of Le Creuset. What do you love about the brand and product? Which is your favorite piece from that collection?
SL: Le Creuset is the choice of great chefs for its design and quality. Le Creuset pots are oven friendly and are so beautiful they can go right on the table. The Le Creuset pottery is equally beautiful for serving and performs well. The cast iron enamel pots hold their heat to keep your food warm throughout the meal. In our house the 5.5qt. oven is the most popular. Perfect for chili and stew.
WF: I love that you carry numerous cookbooks. Do you have a favorite?
SL: Vedge (written by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby) is my current favorite. Lots of great recipes from leading restaurants in Philly.
WF: Will you be selling goods on line?
SL: We feature products on our website and Facebook and ship nationwide. Call 401.315.5017 to place an order.
WF: You offer knife sharpening as a service- why should people have their knives processionally sharpened?
SL: Keeping the edge sharp improves performance and safety. Many people may have a sharpening steel to put a fine edge on their knives, but we recommend that you bring your knives in annually to have them sharpened with our professional machine to get them re-edged. We request a small donation for a local charity in lieu of charging a sharpening fee. We are currently collecting funds for the Westerly Land Trust, and previously collected food items for the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center.
WF: I heard that you recently hosted a “team building” cooking event for a local business. Is this something that you will be offering again in the future?
SL: We teach private classes frequently: team building, bachelorette and birthday classes are the most popular. Private classes offer you the option to pick the time and location of the class along with designing a custom menu of what you want to learn to cook.
WF: Do you have any events coming up?
SL: We are currently working on a popular Sips & Snacks series for January. At this class we pair three wines with three hors d’oeuvres that we make prior to sampling the wines. A wine sommelier talks about the wines.
WF: What are your hours?
SL: We are open daintily Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 9:30-4.
Before we concluded, we did a fun little this or that with Suzanne about her favorites-
Coffee or Tea? Tea
Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate
Sweet or Savory? Savory
Apples or Oranges? Apples
Giada or Ina? Ina
Red sauce or White sauce on pizza? Red
Goat, Cow or Sheep (cheese)? Goat
Red or White wine? Red
Gourmet or Provincial? Gourmet
Salt or Pepper? Pepper
Westerly Food would like to thank Suzanne for her time answering all of our questions. We hope you will shop local this holiday season and stop by the Gray Goose Cookery at 93 Watch Hill Road here in Westerly. With great gifts, stocking stuffers and items to contribute to your holiday parties, Gray Goose has it all.