Julia Child still misses the La Cornue stove she bought for about $425 in France in the late 1940s, "which had a large oven and a marvelous hot plate with a strong burner." Cookbook author and Paris food critic Patricia Wells owns that stove now. "It's like having Freud's couch," Wells says. Today Julia couldn't live without her Garland stove, another $425 purchase from the '40s. (Garland stoves from $3,150; 800-257-2643).
Many cooks prefer flat cotton or linen kitchen towels because they don't shed lint, but Child swears by terry. "I like terry-cloth towels because they always look neat--you never have to iron them--and you can buy them anywhere," even in grocery stores.
At the International Housewares Show in Chicago, Child was intrigued by the GE Advantium Oven, which uses halogen lights to cook food as much as eight times faster than a conventional oven. She's well known for her love of roast chicken--and the oven, she's heard, "can roast a 3-pound chicken in 25 minutes!" (from $1,300; 800-626-2000).
Child's peg board, for pots and pans, is a signature of her kitchen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each pot and pan is outlined on the board, so no matter how many chefs traipse through, everything is put back in the proper place.
If Child were to replace all her pots, she'd get heavy-gauge copper cookware lined in stainless steel--"but only if I can have someone else keep them shiny!" The French copper pans she has are lined with tin, which wears out. Good sources for stainless-steel-lined copper are La Cuisine (800-521-1176) and Bridge Kitchenware (212-688-4220).
At 88, Child is so busy--she keeps two homes and travels constantly--she often goes on-line to buy favorite tools like a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, spring-loaded tongs, plastic mandolines and microplane graters. Two Web resources for kitchen equipment: Amazon.com and Williams-Sonoma.com.