Executive Joe Sherman travels the world to find tools for the Viking Culinary Arts Center. Here, some of his best discoveries.


The mad scientist in Sherman loves the Cona vacuum brewer at Victoria & Albert's restaurant in Florida's Walt Disney World. The coffee touches only glass—no filter required—so the flavor's very clean ($157; 888-876-5917 or www.sweetmarias.com).

Sardine-grilling basket

Sherman found this eye-catching tool in Amsterdam ($63 at Viking Culinary Arts Center; 404-745-9064).

Pot holders

HotSpots are made of flexible silicone that's heat-resistant to 675 degrees. The raised dots on the surface improve the grip ($7 at Bed Bath & Beyond; 800-462-3966).

Italian cookware

Based outside Milan, Piazza promotes its pots as "arguably the world's heaviest stainless steel cookware" ($143 for an 11 3/4-quart deep cook pot, $24 for the lid at Select Choice; 877-664-4642).

Pastry pans

The French company Gobel sells especially sturdy pans—for madeleines, brioche, quiche and more—in both tin and nonstick (from $1 to $35 at Poste-Haste; 800-528-0399).


Sherman finds the model from the French company Matfer particularly easy to clean and store ($150 at A Cook's Wares; 724-846-5120).

French porcelain

Pillivuyt's white dinnerware is so durable, "I've seen it dropped on the floor and not break," Sherman says (from $8 to $39 at 125West Estate; 888-921-9378).

Burton Stove Top Grill

Sherman prefers this ridged, convex pan over the popular George Foreman electric grill. You can watch food while it cooks, and the shape means "fat rolls right off" ($25; 800-272-8603).

Insider Tip

Joe Sherman adores Amsterdam's Duikelman B.V. cookware store, which carries everything from sardine-grilling baskets to 33 different espresso makers (Ferdinand Bolstraat 68; 011-31-20-671-22-30).