A client half a world away asked me to figure out how to talk about a line of cookware she was planning import into her country.
The brand had no name recognition, no prestige status, no particular price advantage. So she wanted to market it as the ideal line for new cooks, people who were just getting interested in making dinner.
She wanted to sell cooking as much as the pots and skillets.
(All of which was the right decision, to my mind.)
We figured on showing how this line is uniquely designed to make cooking fun.
Most important was to create a voice and personality for the brand. So it would resonate with budding foodies and newbie cooks.
Why we cook.
Because we want to eat. What we like.
Because we love it when they say, “More, please.”
So we can add as much butter and garlic and hot pepper as we like. Or not.
Because, duh, being able to feed yourself is a useful survival skill.
So we can nourish our young. Impress guests. Seduce a lover. Without resorting to something in a box.
Because cooking is the best way to kill time before dinner.
Because many people don’t cook at all, and we like feeling superior. Just a bit.
So we won’t go hungry, even when the takeaway shop is closed.
Because sometimes, it comes out looking just like the picture.
First thing about this stock pot: You will love the handles. More about that below.
Every working kitchen needs at least one of these. It’s your go-to workhorse, your do-everything pot: Bolognese sauce, lentil soup, polenta, beef bourguignon.
You will boil your potatoes and pasta in it. Even bake no-knead artisanal bread. Steam a head of cauliflower. Stir your pots of chili and stew and goulash.
The cover is glass, so you can see how your osso buco is braising in there. Nothing needs to cook in the dark.
It is so well made, your heirs will fight over it.
If you often cook for guests, you may need two of these.
The bottom surface of the pot is thick, for steady and even heating. You can perfectly sear your lamb shanks, oxtails or veggies on the stovetop, then slip it into the oven and let it simmer low and lazy all afternoon.
The handles on the lid and sides work together as a clever spoon rest, a lid holder, and draining aid.
There should be a Nobel for this.
Confession: We would recommend these non-sticks just for the way they look — which is much like a granite countertop: substantial, sturdy, durable. Good enough to display in plain sight.
This is the new generation of mineral/ceramic-based non-stick surfaces. No worry about scratching, or invisible chemicals wafting out.
And it is full-slip cooking. A fried egg will slide off. And so will burnt-on anything, like the cheese oozing from your panini. One flick removes it.
Better yet is the cooking: steady and even heating.
Go low and slow for creamy scrambled eggs or for flat and tidy bacon strips; or crank it up for crepes, pancakes flatbreads; or take it full-blast for your asian stir-frys or to sear your ribeye steaks.
You can cook with no oil at all if you are so inclined. Or you can cook awash in butter, like we do. Either way, nothing will stick. Washing up is nothing.
Oh and the sides of the skillets are perfectly contoured for stylish tossing as you sauté. The food will leap up and flip right over. It is fun to do, but takes some practice. (Sauté comes from the French, meaning ‘jump’.)
Can better flatware actually make dinner taste better? Logically, no. But we sure believe it does anyway.
You will notice something different about the way the fork and spoon feel against the lips.
More velvety, less obtrusive. It’s designed that way.
And the handles feel more natural and balanced in your palm. Or maybe it’s just because we like eating.
The sets are polished 18/10 stainless. Mirror bright. You will set a sparkling table.
The design is minimalist Euro, free of curlicues and needless ornament. Like us.