At this point, it feels like I’ve been planning my wedding forever. After postponing three times due to the pandemic, it’s finally happening this August! A few weeks ago, my mom hosted an incredible travel-themed bridal shower that was beautifully decorated by my bridesmaids. Who knew boneless wings and grilled cheese could look so elegant?
I received so many thoughtful and useful gifts, many of which were for my kitchen! I love to cook, I’m lucky enough to constantly be surrounded by great chefs, and I manage The Chopping Block's retail space, so compiling a registry was a stress-free part of the planning process, but it got me thinking that it can be really daunting when you don’t know where to start.
I’m often asked by brides, grooms and wedding/shower guests that visit our store to help scope out what they may need for their kitchen or to assist in selecting the perfect gift. My answer is almost always “a gift card plus” – meaning the gift of cooking together in one of our classes (either in person or virtually) and something to give along with the gift card that the couple can use long after they take their cooking class(es).
Maybe the couple wants to take our five day Culinary Boot Camp series together, or maybe they want to take the night off cooking and sit back and relax on our gorgeous patio while we do the cooking. Either way, it’s nice for them to have a memento of their class, so I decided to compile a list of some great wedding and shower gifts that we have at The Chopping Block. Your days of being stumped are over!
We have several options when it comes to cookware, including cast iron, enameled cast iron, non-stick and stainless steel.
Lodge pre-seasoned cast iron pans, along with a silicone or leather handle, and a care kit make a great gift. They’re affordable and versatile too! You can cook, fry and bake, as well as use the skillet in the oven, on the stovetop or on the grill. We carry the 8in, 9in, 10.25in (most popular!),12in and a reversible grill pan, along with some mini options as well – think skillet cookies! We bake our famous Apple Pies in Lodge skillets and Lodge cast iron makes a great gift if the couple likes to camp.
When it comes to Le Creuset, one of the most well-known brands in cookware, we carry enameled cast iron, toughened non-stick, and ceramic cocottes (perfect for all your individual mac n cheese and chocolate soufflé needs). In enameled cast iron, we carry braisers and French ovens in a variety of colors, while in non-stick we carry 8in, 9.5in, 11in, 12in and a crepe pan. Le Creuset has a lifetime warranty, and really is the quintessential wedding gift, in my opinion. The enameled cast iron heats evenly, maintains heat, and they are beautiful so you can serve right from it at the table. I use mine so often, it stays on my stovetop, ready to go! These pieces are often passed down for generations to come, so it’s a gift that keeps giving.
If stainless steel cookware is what you’re looking for, we carry All Clad in the D3 line. D3 refers to the 3-ply bonding. The cookware is safe for gas, electric, ceramic and induction stovetops. The core of the pans are aluminum which conducts heat really well. All Clad pans have a lifetime warranty. I absolutely love the 7QT Pasta Pentola pot. It has an insert that sits in the pot, so your days of struggling to drain pasta are over!
Speaking of pasta, maybe you’re ready to make your own. Better add a pasta machine to the list! You’ll be making ravioli, lasagna, pappardelle, fettucine and more, like a pro with this model that clamps onto your counter.
Does the couple like to bake? We’ve got you covered there too with Chicago Metallic and Emile Henry bakeware. Personally, my favorites are the sheet pan and cooling rack because they’re two of the most used items in my own kitchen, but the loaf pan, popover pan, quarter sheet pan, muffin, mini muffin or 9 in cake pan are all excellent options.
Emile Henry makes beautiful ceramic bakeware that looks makes baked goods look even better (if that’s even necessary). We carry them in burgundy, white, and charcoal. Our most popular piece? It’s a toss up between the pie plate and the pizza stone!
Baking is all about measurements, so we’ve got all sorts of measuring cups and spoons to help master the science and precision of baking. I love our visual measuring cups. Gone are the days of trying to figure out which cup is a third and which is a quarter. You can literally see!
I love to entertain, so it’s no surprise that I was so excited about the platters, bowls, and cheeseboards I received. My maid of honor took it upon herself to stock my bar with wine for every occasion, and another bridesmaid had the great idea of making personalized coasters, and I received a personalized Lazy Susan that makes the perfect centerpiece when entertaining.
We have a fantastic wine and spirits selection at The Chopping Block and have a host of bar and entertaining accessories to choose from. Among my favorites are the Jack Rudy Bourbon Cherries, the Tovolo Sphere Ice Cube, and the hexagon epicurean boards. Trust me, after all that wedding planning, everyone needs to take a wine and cheese break!
When I think I entertaining, I also think of gathering outside on my deck or patio with the grill going. We’ve got all your grilling essentials covered too, from cedar planks, to delicious rubs and sauces, and all the accessories in between.
I hope this shopping tour has sparked some ideas for you whether you are the one planning or gifting! If you’re ready to give the gift of cooking together, you can purchase your gift card online. We’d love to shop with you so please come and see us at Lincoln Square Wednesday through Friday 12pm-5pm, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-3pm.
We also offer curbside pickup if you’re in a hurry, so you can email your order to Lincoln@thechoppingblock.com. We’ll call you for payment, and have your items ready to go.
Not local? No worries! We also offer shipping if you or your recipient aren’t located in Chicago. Cheers to many years of delicious meals and happy memories in the kitchen!