If we could start over from scratch, these are the five key pieces we would want in our dream kitchen.

A lot of pots and dishes come our way piecemeal, and by sudden opportunity (a fabulous sale, a family hand-me-down, a gleeful shopping spree of everything you think you need at once because you just moved into a new apartment). But if you had the time to strategically plan and research exactly which key investment cookware and bakeware would prepare you for the majority of recipes—from braised short ribs to quiches to lasagnas and poached salmons—wouldn’t that be awesome? Instead of having three odd-sized casserole dishes, you could have just one of exactly everything you need. Well designed quality pieces that would stand the test of time and look good while doing it. Here is that list:

1. Round French Oven

Soups, stews, casseroles, roast chickens, short ribs (and even no-knead breads!) are just a few of the comfort foods you can cook up with this Round French Oven, which specializes in keeping foods moist and tender. Le Creuset’s French Oven is the high-end enamelled version of the cast iron Dutch oven, technology that has been around since the 1700s, but this do-everything staple won’t chip, won’t lose heat, won’t let you down. This is the Meryl Streep of cookware. Buy one in your favourite colour and watch it outlast everything (hello, lifetime warranty!).

2. Stainless Steel Rondeau

To kick up flavours and make ingredients sing, the Rondeau is a must for the home chef’s arsenal. Its wider-set shape and shallow depths make it just the right size to braise and poach food (retaining moisture and flavours in simmering tasty baths) as well as evaporate liquids to accentuate sauces and flavours. Because it has a lid like the French Oven, you could brown an osso buco on the stovetop, then cook it in the oven and then simmer it in sauce back on top—versatile is the Rondeau’s middle name.

3. Oval Serving Platter

The more care put into making dishes look beautiful, the tastier they will be—that’s just science. And the great thing about this Oval Serving Platter (seen here in Le Creuset’s original colour, Flame) is that the shape and size extends its gorgeous utility to serving everything from cheese flights to hors d’oevres to entrees. It’s the only hosting platter you need.

4. Rectangular Casserole

Addressing every chef’s battle with making sure things are evenly cooked, is this Rectangular Casserole dish. A smooth interior glaze and even-heating design make this the go-to for baking perfect “Grandma’s recipe” pies, quiche and, of course, casseroles. It has a hard-wearing layer of enamel that makes it stand up to damage from heat and utensils—so not just a pretty face—yet it’s lightweight so you won’t need outside help hoisting it into the oven.

5. Revolution 6 Piece Set

If you look really closely, you can see this has “hostess gift” written all over it. There’s nothing more satisfying than a matching collection, and the Revolution 6-Piece Set of utensils comes in colour (for that extra pop of visual interest every kitchen needs) and is made from premium silicone. Jar scraper, small and medium spatulas, spatula spoon, basting brush—the gang’s all here. Bonus: the counter-jewel factor. Each set comes with a chic stoneware utensil crock.