IF GROCERY SHOPPING gets any easier, it might even become fun again. Bristol Farms, Pasadena's gourmet market, has opened a cook store and a cooking school next door--and they house everything a kitchen whiz needs. It makes for a natural progression from Bristol Farms, says executive chef Claudia McQuillan. Cooks "can shop for groceries and wine in the market; at the cooking school, they can learn how to prepare their purchases; then they can buy the proper equipment to cook them in."
The cooking school, run by McQuillan, is state-of-the-art, employing such equipment as a video monitor system (rather than the standard mirror system generally associated with cooking instruction) for helpful close-up viewing, and a pizza and bread oven with clay stones. There's ample room for demonstration classes of 30 students and for participation classes of about 16. McQuillan has lined up such luminaries in the field as Julia Child, Jim Dodge and Amy Pressman as teachers.
Among the high-quality equipment Cook 'N' Things stocks--which range from the practical to the exotic--is the new Circolo stainless-steel cookware from West Germany and Castle Copper from Ireland. There's also a large selection of gadgets, utensils, Century cast-iron cookware, coffee makers and other electrical appliances, Peggy Karr's handmade glass plates and bowls and tableware with fruit and vegetable themes. The book corner is packed with the classics, the hard-to-find and the most recent cookbooks and cook-related magazines.
Bristol Farms Cook 'N' Things, 606 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena; (818) 441-5588.