While new innovations such as induction cooktops and internet-connected refrigerators have modernised the kitchen space, the greatest change to kitchens today compared to those of past eras, is that they are now considered the centre of the home – no longer a room for simply preparing meals but also where family and friends gather and a hub for entertaining. Despite this, many kitchenware items have remained icons for decades and while improvements have been made over time these icons are, in our opinion, essentials for every kitchen.
Knife Block Set
A knife block set from Global Knives makes an impressive statement in any kitchen. Easily identified by the black dots on their handle and featured in many television cooking shows including ‘MasterChef Australia’ and ‘My Kitchen Rules’, the ‘Ikasu’ block set in bamboo has remained a best-seller for the brand which is not surprising considering its concise design allowing the blades of the knives to be admired while being protected behind a clear perspex sheet. Knife block sets provide a full suite of the most essential knives required for the majority of cutting tasks and the Ikasu contains 8cm paring and 11cm utility knives, cooks knives in 13cm and 20cm sizes, a 14cm vegetable knife and a serrated bread knife.
Purchasing a set avoids the need to purchase knives individually and houses them in a secure way but there are a multitude of other specialty knives available from Global including those for filleting fish (with flexible blades), boning, carving, even for cheese. Global magnetic knife racks can house all these extras, safely fitted onto the kitchen splash-back for convenience and safety.
Ensure you keep your knives in fine-cutting form with regular sharpening using their handy pull-through sharpeners which house ceramic wheels in a miniature water bath to replicate a whetstone.
Non-stick cookware got a bad rap thanks to the early models coated with Teflon that was found to flake off at higher temperatures or with the use of metal utensils. SCANPAN were the first company to introduce a non-Teflon truly PFOA free non-stick finish, one which remains PFOA free throughout the entire manufacturing process, and they were also early adopters of the use of recycled materials in industry with the aluminium ‘bodies’ of their non-stick cookware created using only recycled material, mainly drink cans.
These features are admirable but we love the ease with which food is released from the surface while it is being cooked, also providing for no-fuss clean-up and the Scandinavian style is evident in the design of their pans, beautifully matching form with function.
All we ask is that you care for your premium cookware as you would a fine piece of jewellery or watch – use it every day but be sure to not treat it harshly (only low to medium heat is required to evenly distribute heat across the entire surface of the pan) and clean it well after each use. Scanpan recommend the use of a nylon scourer and hot soapy water – dishwashers can age the pan quicker than the recommended hand-washing but personally we have put ours in the dishwasher at a moderate setting for convenience and a few years on it still looks and performs nearly as good as new.
Also known as a Casserole, Cocotte or Dutch Oven the French Oven is an invaluable piece of cookware for slow cooking and while there are many versions available today invariably you ‘get what you pay for’ and still the best French Ovens are in our opinion, unsurprisingly, made in France. To this point the heritage and craftsmanship still employed in the manufacturing of Chasseur French Ovens in the Champagne region produces a quality that is unsurpassed. It is important these traditional factories continue as they support a local workforce and sustain an industry which is consistently investing in research and design and would otherwise be lost.
The features and benefits of cast-iron cookware can be read in our previous blog – cooking with cast-iron. In summary; the distribution and retention of heat is unmatched by other any other cooking surface and therefore holds its place as the go-to for casseroles, cassoulets and of course the eponymous Chicken Chasseur! Additionally, they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and beautiful colours to grace not only your kitchen but also the dining room table. Slow down, take the time to create a delicious meal in one of these icons and enjoy it straight from the dish where it will not only add to the table setting but will remain hot throughout the meal.
Mason Cash was founded in 1800 in the heart of the English ceramic industry, an area located close to all the raw material and fuel sources required to make ceramics and which had transport links to the rest of the United Kingdom and the world. The pottery produced kitchen items made from ‘white and cane’ glazed earthenware sometimes known as ‘yellow ware’ due to the colour of the local clay, or ‘bargeware’ as it was packed onto barges and sent to market. The ‘cane’ colour continues to be the signature colour today.
While Mason Cash had been producing mixing bowls during the 1800’s, in 1901 they designed and manufactured the very first iconic mixing bowl. The design of the bowl has endured the test of time and has become something of a design classic. In fact, the design has barely altered since then, which is why the brand is still renowned for its innovative, classic kitchenware today.
Now produced in Portugal, another region renown for their ceramics craftsmanship, these iconic bowls continue to be made from chip resistant earthenware and the shape of the bowl counters the tendency to move during mixing while the traditional patterned exterior also makes it easy to grip.
A mixing bowl is an obvious staple for every kitchen but the pleasure and practicality of using a Mason Cash bowl is really unique.
American chef, author and television personality Julia Child was among the first culinary experts to hail the food processor as a revolutionary kitchen appliance, calling it “one of the great inventions”* when it was introduced to America in 1973 by the late Cuisinart founder, Carl Sontheimer. Seeing the food processor as a quick and easy way to make fine food and healthy dishes she kept it close at hand on top of the butcher’s block**.
Not only does this make it a kitchen icon today as it did over 45 years ago, this updated version comes with 3 nesting bowls in 14, 11 and 4.5 cup sizes which, thanks to the exclusive SealTight™ Advantage System ensures safe handling, and keeps all the ingredients contained in the bowl while in use. A variety of blades are included for slicing, shedding, chopping, mixing and even making dough – all housed in a convenient storage case while the sleek design including a touch pad control panel makes cleaning easy.
If this beast is more than you need there are other smaller styles including the 4 cup mini processors which are great for making a quick pesto, grinding nuts and coffee beans or pureeing baby food.
Not many rubbish bins can be considered iconic but this stylish number by Brabantia ticks all the right boxes and even has been named newICON!
Inspired by the pedal bins the brand has been producing since 1953, this latest expression is a modern version of the original, pared down to a minimalist style yet with many more features. The non-slip base protects flooring and keeps the bin steady, while the pedal stays stable due to its anti-tilting mechanism. We love a soft-close on kitchen drawers and cupboards and this bin includes that technology, avoiding the clanging noise you may have been putting up with and also keeping any unsavoury odours literally under wraps. The ‘PerfectFit’ bin liners are just that – easy to fit inside the internal bucket without the unsightly overwrap you’ll get with generic waste bags – and all materials are not only of such high-quality they come with a 10 year guarantee, they are also manufactured from 40% recycled material and when it does eventually come to the end of its life 98% of the bin and its packaging is recyclable.
The sale of every Brabantia newICON pedal bin also supports The Ocean Cleanup to fulfil its mission – to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. So its a bin that not only cleans up your kitchen it helps to clean up the planet too.