tools-trade

Woody Bailey, the knife-sharpening master behind Zen Blades.

Zen Blades

(503-816-3913, zenblades.com)

Tired of messily mushing tomatoes instead of slicing them? Thanks to Woody Bailey’s mobile knife-sharpening service, help is just an e-mail away. Bailey’s early obsession with cutlery led him to renowned Seattle blade-smith Bob Kramer, who taught him a seven-step sharpening process that Bailey likens to smoothing wood with progressively finer grades of sandpaper. He now teaches knife-handling skills at Oregon Culinary Institute (oregonculinaryinstitute.com), where you can stop in and get your knives sharpened for $5 per blade (call ahead at 503-961-6200). Otherwise, he’ll show up at your door in his Zen Blades truck if you have at least 10 blades for him to sharpen. Sounds like an excellent excuse for a block party.

Le Creuset Company Store

(1001 N Arney Rd, #618, Woodburn, 503-982-2520) Find-It!

With a host of top-notch national kitchen stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, Whole Foods Market, and locally owned Kitchen Kaboodle here in town, high-quality cookware is easy for Portlanders to come by. But home cooks on a tight budget have great options too. Nestled into the collection of Woodburn Company Stores just 25 minutes south of downtown on I-5, the Le Creuset outlet is a cook’s paradise—discriminating shoppers will find Le Creuset’s cast-iron, enamel-coated cookware at prices slashed by 20 percent or more.

Rose’s Equipment Inc

(207 SE Clay St, 503-233-7450, rosesequipment.com) Find-It!

Since it opened in 1980, Tom and Karen Rose’s small commercial kitchen-supply shop has grown into an internationally recognized showroom selling new and used equipment to restaurants—and the savviest home cooks—across the nation. You’ll find restaurant-quality porcelain dinnerware, cutlery, utility knives, cutting boards, martini shakers, food mills, potato ricers, whisks, slotted spoons, French onion soup crocks, espresso cups, teapots, heat-resistant spatulas, wine glasses, butcher block–capped stainless steel worktables, squeeze bottles, lobster crackers, industrial-strength blenders, and just about every other kitchen tool you can imagine—all at prices that rival Ikea’s.