ANNA BUCKMAN REPORTS:
Here’s Why It’s Worth The Money
It's a normal part of life to have a kitchen full of mismatched, worn-down pots and pans that you've held onto for much longer than you probably should have, and equally as normal to try to hide them out of sight for fear guests might realize the sad state of your cookware. The fact of the matter is, there aren't that many brands out there making kitchen essentials that last for years and simultaneously look good in your kitchen, which makes it difficult to create a collection you want to hang onto (and show off). Thankfully, here to change all that is cookware brand Ondine. It's one you may not have heard of yet, but that will no doubt soon be at the top of your kitchen wishlist.
Founded by Marie Ondine Guerlain, Ondine epitomizes luxury cookware — and yes, the price reflects that. Many individual products from the brand run into the hundreds, with one of its pricier options, the Platine Set, running into the thousands. At its listed price of $4,200 on Wolf & Badger's site, it's safe to say it's an investment — but it's certainly arguable that the seven-piece set (and every other item from the brand) is worth the price.
Why? The pieces combine beauty with quality materials, and were carefully designed. In fact, the process of designing the range and sourcing the materials actually took five years of research and development. "From the ergonomically designed solid brass handles to the use of titanium 316Ti, every element of the pan was considered and refined, such as the milling on the body of the pan to create the innovative design of vertical and horizontal lines," explains the brand's founder, Guerlain, in an email to TZR. "This is an expensive and meticulous technique, as our manufacturer has to carefully etch the lines at a specific depth without surpassing the first layer of steel."
Of course, those details weren't arbitrary; there was a reason behind every one of them, starting with the materials each pan is made with. "I felt there was a gap in the market where cookware wasn’t giving me everything I was looking for. The health aspect was one of them. I decided I wanted to create my own and take it into a different realm," says Guerlain. "By using Titanium 316Ti as the surface the food is in contact with, this ensures your meals are pure, healthy, and the taste of your food isn't altered."
As for the design, Guerlain wanted to create something that wouldn't just be stuck in the kitchen once the cooking was done. "[T]he range is 'oven-to-table' so [it] can be used in the kitchen for the ultimate cooking experience and transferred to the dining table for a beautiful presentation," she cites as another part of the inspiration behind creating the range of non-toxic cookware.
To create a product that would achieve that, she drew from her background in art to design pieces that are as beautiful as they are functional. As for how her artistic style translated into kitchen products? "Creation filters into different areas of life, be it from cooking, art or design," says Guerlain. "The design and intricate detailing of the pan are aspects of the cookware I enjoyed the most, as it’s very much my style of work."
Though essential to the pieces, Guerlain's artistic vision wasn't easy to incorporate either. Along with the technique required to incorporate the lines into each pan, creating the base is part of the meticulous process of making the range. "The base with the Ondine logo is another intricate element of the pan. I wanted to ensure the 2D relieved pan base was also suitable for induction hobs, which typically need specific pans in order to function."
But once each piece is hand-crafted and hand-assembled by Italian craftsmen, the result is exactly what makes the range different than your average cookware set. Ondine's pieces are cookware that you can comfortably use in the kitchen, and proudly use beyond as well — which is exactly what Guerlain had in mind when creating it.
"I wanted each piece to be like a piece of art. Something you could treasure and admire on your stove each day. An heirloom you can pass onto the next generation of your family," says Guerlain. And they certainly live up to that goal. In fact, some might say they're worth every penny.
Ondine's products can be found at retailers like Goop and Wolf & Badger, as well as the brand's own online shop. To preview some of the products before you start shopping, keep scrolling to see the $4,200 Platine Set, along with four other pieces from the brand equally worth the investment.