EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT there is nothing quite like cast iron for cooking. Those big black skillets are indispensable tools, turning out everything from perfect omelets to pan-broiled steak. Nothing cooks corn bread quite as well, and if you want to make blackened anything, you need one.
Dutch ovens are even better tools, moving easily from the top of the stove to the inside of the oven. Stew isn't really stew if it's made in anything else, and when it comes to making truly crusty home-baked bread, there's nothing better. This is because, with the cover on, that heavy black pot acts as an oven within an oven, radiating even heat. There's only one problem with the ordinary Dutch oven--it's so ugly that you really hesitate to invite it into the dining room for dinner.
Enter the modern Dutch oven by Alessi. It's made of the same cast iron, and it has all the properties that make a Dutch oven the perfect pot. It is also every bit as heavy to hold. But there the resemblance ends. For this is a sleek and gorgeous creature that looks absolutely stunning wherever you put it. Of course, this pot has its price--but what's $190 for such efficient elegance?
The cast-iron Dutch oven by Alessi is available at Lynne Deutch Ltd., 8460 Melrose Place, Los Angeles (213) 658-6177.