Fine Restaurants Using Copper Cookware--List 'Em Here!

So, a few days ago, some fool on eGullet was prattling on about how few–if any–fine restaurants actually cook in copper. The claim was made that clad is a better performing construction, and that no top chef would use it. A few other numbskulls chimed in, claiming never to have seen any in any fine restaurant. When I pointed out several (with photos), I was told that none of the “very best” restaurants use it any more, and that the places who do have it use it only for decor in their open kitchens, as umbrella stands, etc.

Those who know me know these’re fighting words–I will not let such buffoonery go unchallenged. The Chief Buffoon posted last year’s La Liste of the world’s top 10 (as decided by the French Tourism Ministry) and claimed only ONE used copperware. The 10 are:

Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville
Per Se
Kyo Aji
Guy Savoy
El Celler de Can Roca
Maison Troisgros
Auberge du Vieux Puits
Joël Robuchon (Japan)

Suspicious, I did a little Googling and Google Imaging, and guess what? SEVEN of these 10 temples of haute cuisine have photographs of their kitchens and prep areas featuring copper.

Per Se:

Guy Savoy:


El Celler de Can Roca: Photo previously supplied

Kyubei: Can’t find a photo of their copper tamagoyaki, but I know they cook that prep in them.

Maison Troisgros:


Joël Robuchon (Japan):

So… for the sleuths out there… Someone can earn my eternal gratitude if they can substantiate that the remaining 3 actually use copper? They are:

Restaurant de l’Hôtel de Ville;
Kyo Aji: and

Oh, and I think it’d also be nice to use this thread to compile a running list, to dispel the widespread ignorance about copper’s place in the world’s best kitchens. So I’ll add another here.



I dunno, google ‘kitchen michelin star’ and you’re in a freakin’ copper forest. Doesn’t look like window dressing to me. . .
But then again, why not play along and hope everybody dumps their copper on ebay? Then the rest of us can stuff our kitchens with the cool stuff. . .

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Please edit to add the names of the restaurants. Are they (in order) BrooklyFare, Saison and French Laundry?

The eGullet discussion took a surreal turn when someone claimed that photos like these don’t count unless they’re of chefs actually cooking in copper. Seriously. Likewise, photos of bare kitchens, in which no cookware or cooks were visible, were counted as instances of restaurants NOT using copper. Go figure.


Quince Kitchen, San Francisco:

Eleven Madison Park:

Commander’s Palace (New Orleans):

August (New Orleans):
John Besh: “I am a huge copper-pan buff. Even when my wife and I couldn’t afford it, she would give me a copper pot or pan, mostly Mauviel, for Christmas and my birthday… so I love to come home and have the rich hues of copper and brass.”

Arnaud’s(new Orleans):

Bayona (New Orleans):

Le Louis XV (Monaco) 3-star:

I’ve walked by the Saison kitchen with the side door open and seen the copper stacked on the tables, in use.

I’m having no luck with Hotel de Ville — I suspect the late chef Violier (who took his life a few weeks ago) was more of a clad guy.

As any idiot might expect, Paul Bocuse:

Daniel (in background, in use)

I did find a photo of the departed Violier working a trade booth for Zwilling Henckels, so maybe he was contractually bound…

When Violier redid the kitchen in 2012, it appears he added induction. (Some people will be pleased with that factoid). Under Rochat, there was some copper (who was the Chef in the time I lived near there).

Yes, here are the links. Clicking on the images works too.
First one is Brooklyn Fare
Here’s an image showing coppers in use in the background:

Second one is Saison Hearth


Third one is French Laundry

Sorry, don’t know how to edit a post. :anguished:

We ate at Nougatine once and sat next to a window that looked into the kitchen (I’m pretty sure they share the same kitchen as Jean-Georges which is immediately in the next room.) They were using lots of copper. I even asked the waiter how they keep it so pristine (I couldn’t spot a speck of patina on any of them.) He said they bring in an outside company who polishes all of it once a week.

You can see the fry pans and saucepans lined up in size order (you may need to zoom in a bit):

Thanks, Sherri!

Here’s another of Jean-Georges:

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Are they now making copper pans that are induction capable?

de Buyer prima matera

Reminds us of the golf and tennis nerds thinking that shelling a couple more thousand in equipment would make them better. Jack Nicklaus could take all hackers using their clubs, as could Arthur Ashe on the tennis court. Cooking is more like sports than not: Training, practice, skill and brains combined are the sure bet, not stuff and kits – not that stuff and kits don’t look good at home !

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I like videos- here’s one from Jean-Georges

There are really too many videos on Youtube of copper being used here to bother to list them all.

And elite athletes, like top chefs, are they not using the finest available equipment?

Maybe we could up our game using copper golf clubs with cast iron handles, with the impact surface lined with tin (or stainless steel if you don’t want to bother with re-tinning).

Yes, and concert violinists playing any old fiddle. Or an F1 driver entering his Prius just because he’s a great driver. Or SEALs shooting muskets…

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Ah, here’s a few more copper pans being used- this first one is a cooking lesion with Josiah Citrin from L.A. with copper everywhere

And here’s a cozy French Bistro (Paris) La Regalade with Bruno Ducet.

And this frenetic example of Pierre Gagnaire:

You are so right, training, practice, skill and brains are the sure bet. Too true!
What’s so great about copper? To me it’s the ability to control the heat being transferred to the food. Hotter, cooler, hotter. . . . fast. I’m still learning from it.
But this thread addresses the evidence that copper is still in heavy rotation in the best professional kitchens. Why is another topic. I think it must be the level of control a skilled cook would get from copper for specific cooking tasks. More knowledgeable people speak up!

BTW my inexpensive copper was half the price of high quality clad, so I wouldn’t call it trophy swag or decor.