Celebrity Chef's Update
Celebrity chefs continue to spark housewares sales. Not surprisingly, the recent International Home + Housewares Show was the site of some notable entries into the celebrity chef field. Meanwhile, some of the biggest chefs added to their offerings.
The Mexican Kitchen with Rick Bayless bean pot lenox.com
Rick Bayless | Gorham
Award-winning chef, cookbook author and restaurant owner Rick Bayless has partnered with Gorham on The Mexican Kitchen with Rick Bayless collection, a tribute to the delicious flavors and nuances of Mexican food, which Bayless has championed for many years. The collection includes many cookware items designed specifically for preparing Mexican food, such as a 12- and 16-quart tamale steamer, a tortilla press, comal pans in two sizes, a molcajete made from Mexican lava rock and ceramic fire-proof bean pots, to name a few. The extensive collection also includes oven-to-table bakeware pieces, a range of wood tools with easy-grip handles in red, and a square-shaped serveware line in red, green or blue, with modular pieces that can be fitted together in several different ways.
The new Mexican-inspired line is Aaron Sanchez's first cookware line and Imusa's first chef-branded line. The guacamole set is shown here. imusausa.com
Aaron Sanchez | Imusa
Known for his hosting roles on such television shows as the Food Network's "Chopped," Aaron Sanchez debuted his new relationship--and his first cookware line--with Imusa at the show. And though the company has worked with chefs on product development in the past, the Mexican-influenced line is the company's first chef-branded line of cookware.
Sanchez is also one of three celebrity chefs in Imusa's new celebrity panel of chef ambassadors, along with George Duran and Michelle Bernstein. The panel contributed to Imusa's new brand, Global Kitchen, which focuses its product on five regional cuisines.
"He has a huge following through his shows, both in English and Spanish," said Manny Gaunaurd, president of Imusa, said of Sanchez. "He's never done this before--for his customer, he's perfect." And the line fits in at retail at numerous markets, such as California or Texas. "It's authentic cookware; we stepped it up."
Sanchez was very involved in the development and design of his new line, which features authentic and traditional cookware pieces with a modern twist, said Victoria Rodriguez, marketing manager, Imusa. For example, the Jumbo Granite Molcajete was designed with a large surface area and flat-bottom pestle so the home chef could easily make up restaurant-size batches of guacamole and salsas. Another well-received item was the Tortilla and Quesadilla Kit, which combines two essential pieces for creating fresh tortillas, a nonstick comal and tortilla press.
"Collaborating with Chef Aaron Sanchez has been a natural partnership for Imusa and the chef," Rodriguez said. "Aaron Sanchez provides an authentic point of view and understanding of the Imusa consumer, which encompasses the Mexican and Hispanic market as well as the modern day foodie and at-home chef."
The Guy Fieri brand with Lifetime Brands debuted ceramic cookware for the first time at the show. lifetimebrands.com
Guy Fieri | Lifetime Brands
Ceramic cookware and plenty of color were among the introductions for Lifetime Brands' Guy Fieri collection at the show. The brand first launched with Lifetime Brands two years ago.
"Guy loves ceramic--he finds it very durable and likes that it has good release qualities," said Mary Regan, senior vice president, chief marketing officer, cookware/bakeware division, Lifetime Brands. So the brand debuted its first ceramic cookware offerings at the show. Made of a PTFE/PFOA-free ceramic nonstick coating from Whitford, the cookware line is made of aluminum and features riveted silicone colored handles. The line includes a 10-piece set, as well as fry pans.
Fieri also loves color, Regan added. Among the brand's introductions at this recent show were aluminum nonstick cookware, which uses metal-utensil-safe Whitford Quantanium coating and is colored inside and out. Another group of aluminum nonstick fry pans used Whitford Xylan nonstick coating for a translucent colored finish.
In stainless-steel cookware, the brand added a new 10-piece set at a sharper price point. It features an aluminum core, riveted cast stainless steel handles with the "Guy" signature plate and tempered glass lids. The interior finish is a wear-resistant satin brushed look.
Fieri's popular decorated skillet line--which incorporates tattoo art--also expanded at market, including a few designs with the tattoo art on the interior of the pan for the first time.
Jose Andres recently launched his first cookware collection with Castey, and which includes this eight-piece set. castey.com
Jose Andres | Castey
After March's debut of its three-ply stainless steel line with chef Jose Andres, Castey is set to start shipping the cookware collection--which has 14 open-stock items and four set options--in August. This is Andres' first cookware collection, and he aligned with Castey as they both have roots deeply enmeshed in Spain.
The collection received a lot of interest from retailers at the show, said Armando Vallejo, director of sales, Castey USA. The line's features included being stackable for storage, having riveted long handles that are comfortable to hold and lids that have multiple uses, including as a tray or trivet. It is constructed of stainless steel with an aluminum core.
The four-piece cook set in particular "was the item with most interest because of its unique functions...Its basket can be used with either [included] pot to steam and to boil," and they all nest for easy storing. The set includes a 5.75-quart stock pot, a 4-quart sauce pot and a lid along with the 4-quart double boiler. The line overall can be used on all cooktops, including induction.
In addition, the line will be used in all of Jose Andres' restaurants, Vallejo said.
The Rachael Ray Cucina line includes porcelain enamel cookware in one of four muted colorways, with other coordinating categories. meyer.com
Rachael Ray | Meyer
After years of bright colors, Meyer's Rachael Ray line has become more subdued, having debuted the Rachael Ray Cucina line to offer hues reminiscent of Ray's Italian heritage.
Encompassing seven new collections--cookware, stoneware, serveware, cutlery, tools and gadgets, wood pantry and casual dinnerware--the line centers around four muted, Tuscan-style colors: Cranberry Red, Pumpkin Orange, Mushroom Brown and Agave Blue.
"We brought a more mature color palette to the brand," Jay Zilinskas, managing director of Meyer Corp. U.S., told media at the show. The new line is "for the customer looking for something more subdued for the kitchen."
The Rachael Ray brand is "one of the most successful brands in our portfolio," said Jeff Kruskall, vice president, business development, Meyer, at the show. The line's previous bright colors "speak to a younger consumer; this color palette speaks to a different consumer. It's more rustic." He added that it includes a new category to the company: oven-to-table cookware.
Made of aluminum with a hard-enamel porcelain exterior, the Rachael Ray Cucina oven-to-table collection includes round casseroles, oval sauteuses and an oval stock pot. The lids feature a sunburst pattern for added interest and the PFOA-free nonstick interior is in a rich espresso color that complements each exterior hue. Ideal for oven and stovetop use, Rachael Ray Cucina oven to table is oven safe to 500 degrees.
Other collections include the Rachael Ray Cucina hard anodized and the Rachael Ray Cucina porcelain enamel cookware lines, both of which feature shatter-resistant glass lids and stainless-steel handles with silicone and are ideal for stovetop and oven use. The Rachael Ray Cucina cutlery line is made of high-quality Japanese steel and is available in acacia wood handles or handles colored in the line's signature hues.
Ingrid Hoffmann's Mosaico Roja dinnerware gibsonusa.com
Ingrid Hoffman | Gibson
Gibson is now in the second year of its partnership with chef Ingrid Hoffmann, a Miami restaurateur and the host of cooking shows on both the Food Network and Univision.
An addition to the Simplemente Delicioso line, which includes food prep, cookware and serveware items, is the Picante Collection of cookware, tools and dinnerware in vibrant red. The versatile collection includes items such as the standard pressure cooker and a traditional tortilla warmer.
The new Mosaico Roja 16-piece dinnerware set by Simplemente Delicioso, meanwhile, is a harvest-collage inspired wax-relief style pattern. The set is comprised of four dinner plates, four salad plates, four rounded bowls and four matching tall mugs.
Stone Series knife curtisstone.com/kitchen-solutions
Curtis Stone | Roland Products
Australian chef Curtis Stone, founder and head chef of Maude in Beverly Hills and a television personality who hosts Bravo's "Top Chef Masters," expanded the six-year-old Curtis Stone Kitchen Solutions line with two innovative cutting boards and a new knife collection, both distributed by Roland Products. The bamboo cutting boards are environmentally friendly and easy on knife blades. The Workbench cutting and storage board has multiple compartments built into and underneath the board to collect both freshly chopped food and food waste. The Flipper cutting board is designed so that both sides can be used, eliminating the possibility of cross-contamination. The Stone Series knives are made by Japanese manufacturer Yaxell, known for its samurai swords. Made of VG-10 steel with a hammered finish to reduce drag, the knives also feature a micarta handle and a perfectly formed bolster to encourage proper knife-handling skills. Retail prices in the knife series range from $154.99 to $199.99. "These new products will help consumers prepare meals at a professional level in their own homes," said Chris Wert, marketing manager for Roland.