My older sister, who is a true expert at finding vintage, historical and antique pieces, recently purchased a functioning early 1960′s Garland Commercial Stove she saw at a gathering hall in Indiana. Garland stoves are highly respected, first gaining fame in 1893 when the “World’s Largest Stove” was introduced at the World’s Fair and later gaining recognition because Julia Child was quite fond of the stove and had one in her famous kitchen. My sister uses everything she buys, so the stove you see below will promptly be cleaned of all rust and put to use.
I was intrigued, so I did a little research to see which modern day famous and world renounced chefs use Garland ranges. Ever heard of French trained Michele Richard of Citronelle fame? His kitchen has a custom Garland. I am guessing it’s not cast iron! I don’t have the bank account to eat at Citronelle, which is considered the best 5 star restaurant here in Washington, DC, but I have read a lot about Richard and perused his beautiful cookbooks. He is an artist (and a perfectionist) in the kitchen.
Who else used a Garland? You probably have heard of her…
Julia Child used a Commercial Model 182 Garland, which she bought in Washington, DC, and had shipped up to Massachusetts. Julia Child paid $429 for the stove in 1956–my sister paid $450, just a little more! Now Child’s favorite stove is in Washington again, along with almost all of her cooking tools and the original peg board her husband created for his wife to organize and “map” her kitchen. Now that is a nice husband!
The exhibit is right down the street from me at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. I have seen the exhibit and it is just wonderful. I went crazy in the gift shop and bought a boxed DVD set of “The French Chef”. If you are ever in Washington, you must check out the exhibit! The link below takes you on a brief tour of Child’s re-created kitchen–look for the Garland:
According to the National Museum of American History, Child preferred to use her commercial grade gas Garland but the cooking shows taped at her home had her use an electric range, of which she has said she “was never as pleased by its performance.” (Source National Museum of American History ).
My mini gas stove gets the job done, but working at a stove like the one my sister bought would be an incredible experience! I will let you know when she sends me pictures of the Garland in action.