A year ago, I cooked with cheap Teflon pans from Target (not that there's anything wrong with that!) but for a serious Foodie or Chef, this is sacrilege. You see, the chef is only as good as his tools. Yes, it's true that even Julia Child was known to use a brick as a weight or a pan as a lid to a pot in the kitchen, that's what made her (and others that improvise in tough situations) so smart. However, catch Julia using a "Target" pan? Absolutely not. Julia, as well as most accomplished chef's use what works the best. And if you can afford it, you should too. What is the best material for cooking pots? Copper. Hands down.
Copper conducts heat quickly and thoroughly and it cools just as quickly so keeping the right temperature is much easier then any other metal or material. The best (and probably most famous) brand of copper pots is Mauviel. Mauviel copper pots are made in France and the company was established in 1830 in a Normandy Village called Villedieu-les-Poeles which was already rich in copper craftsmanship.
Mauviel pots are copper on the outside and stainless steel on the inside, allowing for unsurpassed heat conductivity and control while making it easy to use for everyday cooking. Polished clean or with a patina on them, there's nothing more beautiful in the kitchen than a copper pot.
Another brand of copper pots that are less expensive (due to their thickness and use of tin instead of stainless steel) is Ruffoni, an Italian company. Ruffoni is known for their elegant designs. Acorn handles adorn many of their pots while hand hammered sides show a touch of elegance that commands attention. Williams-Sonoma carries Ruffoni copper as well as stainless steel Ruffoni which are made with the same exquisite designs.
Although much more expensive then normal pots, copper is a great investment that will last a lifetime. We bought our first set of Mauviel copper pots a year ago. I'll never switch back to that "Target Teflon". If you buy a Mauviel pot, you'll not only have it for life, your children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy it some day as well. This is a product definitely worth saving up for.