When Eden Grinshpan Nivron, co-founder and executive chef of Dez in Manhattan’s Nolita, got engaged to her now-husband Ido over five years ago, the two didn’t spend much time thinking about what should go on their wedding registry. “We got engaged three weeks after we met each other,” she explains. “So when it came time to doing that, we were kind of doing the traditional check-off list — and mostly kitchen appliances, because of what I do.”
But if she were to do it over again, Grinshpan, who still goes by her maiden name professionally, would take a slightly different, and definitely fancier, approach. “The way I view a registry is there are things that are your dream, the dream of what you want in your home,” she explains. So instead of asking for the KitchenAid stand mixer or a set of mixing bowls, the Top Chef Canada host would’ve prioritized kitchen gear and dinnerware from heritage brands, stuff that always felt too expensive or extravagant to buy on her own.
If you’re trying to figure out which kitchen appliances should go on your registry and what’s overkill — or want to find an actually useful wedding gift for the couple who loves to cook — here’s a peek at what this professional chef put on her wedding registry (and what she regrets leaving off, all these years later). If you’re feeling inspired, you can get started on your own Amazon registry, too.
What I put on my registry
“Cutting boards are one of those things that people kind of overlook,” says Grinshpan, “and to be able to have a solid, really thick, good quality cutting board in your kitchen, to really manage your food prep, that’s something everyone needs to have.” This one from Boos is “the most practical for everyday use but also still has a presence,” she says, adding that this is a place to go big, especially for a cutting board of this quality. “I’ve had too many cutting boards get like mildew on it. Some plastic ones have had mildew and some have split on me. You just kind of sometimes need to spend a little bit more money, not a crazy amount but a little bit more, to get something that will be reliable.”
“It’s a lovely, beautiful roasting pan. I roast turkey in there. I roast chicken, I roast everything,” she says. And since it’s made of solid copper, “It just gets more beautiful with age.” It’s a wedding gift that Grinshpan still uses regularly.
“You can never have too many Le Creuset pots in your house, that’s all I’m going to say about that. They do last forever, you can use them for so many things. They hold heat so well, and the quality of them, they just never diminish.” She does recommend putting a variety on your registry, but if there’s only one you’re going to put on there, or you’re just starting a collection, make sure it’s big. “You need to have at least a proper, big one, to be able to hold a solid braise. They need to be able to hold a lamb leg, obviously, because when you’re making your leg of lamb, you need to have a pot to be able to hold it.” But if you don’t think a lamb shank is in the picture, a 5.5-quart Dutch oven is just fine for serving four to six people.
What I wish I’d put on my registry
“I never asked for china, I didn’t want china. That’s not my aesthetic,” says Grinshpan, explaining that she prefers using the mismatched, but beautiful, plates and dinnerware she’s schlepped back to New York City from her travels to Israel. But one thing she and Ido still don’t own are “really beautiful wine glasses. We keep buying these mediocre ones that do the job, but after a little bit of time, they start looking scratched and not cute — especially when you’re hosting people.” That’s why she wishes she had put these Zalto hand-blown wine glasses on her registry. “To take out some beautiful wine glasses, it feels like you’re really living a luxurious life,” she says, adding, “It’s the little things that really make something feel incredible, so if you’re sitting there drinking out of a big, beautiful, thin-stemmed, wide glass, the red wine doesn’t even need to be amazing. The glass makes it feel amazing.”
“Cutlery is definitely something to kick-start your adult life, to make you feel like you’re a little bit more settled,” Grinshpan asserts, which is why she wishes she and Ido had put it on their registry. “We had a baby 19 months ago and all of a sudden we looked at our home and we’re like, we need to start living like adults. Maybe we should get a set of cutlery that matches,” she laughs. Plus, matching up your forks and knives can make place settings at a dinner party seem more streamlined and put-together, even if you are using mismatched dinnerware. She especially likes this set from Crate and Barrel. “I think if you just splurge a little bit more than you [normally] would, on something that you think is just a little bit cuter, it really makes a difference.”
“I don’t know why Ido and I didn’t put steak knives down as something on our registry, because we just can’t seem to justify buying ourselves a really nice set of steak knives,” says Grinshpan, joking, “There’s always something else that comes before steak knives.” But that’s kind of what also makes them a perfect registry item, especially these classically French ones from Laguiole. “They look elegant, and those would last forever. They feel kind of timeless,” she explains. “I feel like they’ll never go out of style, and you’ll always be able to have the perfect set of steak knives.”
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