Tips & Techniques Equip & Tools Apilco: A Williams-Sonoma Classic
Apilco: A Williams-Sonoma Classic
One of the most prestigious names in French porcelain, Apilco has been owned and operated by the Deshoulières family since 1826. Apilco is now the major supplier of high-quality porcelain to fine hotels and restaurants. No wonder that Chuck Williams included this legendary brand, among the premium kitchen wares that he offered at the original Williams-Sonoma store on Sutter Street store in San Francisco.

Designed for the most demanding clientele in the world - French chefs - Apilco porcelain quickly proved a favorite with Chuck Williams' San Francisco customers. "Within a couple of years," he recalled, "we had a wall of Apilco ovenware - all their baking dishes plus dinnerware." Included in the expanded selection was a charming little creamer in the shape of a cow.

"On my first visit to the Apilco showroom," he said, "I noticed a shelf of curio pieces that were made for tourist shops in France. One was a small cow cream jug with gaudy flowers and the name of a tourist area. I thought that if it were all white, it would be a great cream jug for the breakfast table.

"We received them and they immediately attracted attention. We have had the cow creamer ever since, and it has become an icon - along with the soufflés, oval and round gratins, pot au crèmes, casseroles and many other shapes."

Timeless Apilco pieces combine durability and practicality with classic style. In fact, many of the designs have remained unchanged since the 1800s, making them hallmarks of the French table.

From the fluted soufflé dishes to the pristine dinnerware and platters that are fixtures in Parisian charcuteries, you'll find the pieces wonderfully versatile. The white porcelain coordinates well with most tableware and shows off food beautifully. Once more, Apilco porcelain remains true to its roots in the professional kitchen: It not only looks great but also delivers superb performance. Modern firing techniques produce pieces that are microwavable as well as freezer, oven and dishwasher safe. The smooth, hard glazes resist stains.

Since he first spotted that little cow creamer in Paris those many years ago, Chuck Williams' enthusiasm for Apilco has never wavered. "With the space and importance we have given to white Apilco for the past 45 years," he said, "we have made it a vital part of the American kitchen and dining table. The classic designs and quality manufacturing have made Apilco a symbol of good taste."