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New Cookware

New Cookware

A few years ago, my friend chef Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana, Modena, culinary superstar, new-wave cuisine, highly rated in the guides) gave me a non-stick pan.  He was consulting for Moneta, an important cookware manufacturer, to design Pro, a perfect line of pots and pans for professionals.  My sample was fantastic, sturdy Teflon Platinum coating on a thick aluminum body, quick to heat, with just the right angle for flipping pasta (or anything else) over on itself, a most frequent gesture in the Italian kitchen.  I contacted Moneta and ordered Dutch ovens, two-handled skillets, fry pans, saucepans, and got rid of all my old, mangled, mistaken purchases--Calphalon (didn't like the weight and reactive qualities), French commercial Teflon on cast iron (too heavy, angle not right for flipping), Alessi (beautiful design but didn't work and got very stained), an entire set of multi-layer cookware from a friend who was working with the company, all accumulated over the years in my quest for perfection.  I did, however, hold on to my cast iron and copper.  And my most adored, perfectly engineered Alessi pasta pot, always on the stove in my kitchen. 

My order arrived, and I was in love.  The Pro Moneta line held up better than any non-stick I've ever owned but after years of constant use, the Teflon has scratched on a few pieces and since I needed to replace them I checked out the Moneta site.  And that's how I learned about Pro Ceramica, a new line with the same shapes as Pro, but instead of Teflon there's a nanotechnological coating (tiny molecules) with a surface that's non-porous, slick, like glass, and holds up to high heat with no toxic emissions.  I got a sample fry pan and am in love once again.  It heats quickly, evenly, oil skids along the surface, food sears beautifully, caramelizes without sticking.  I fried potatoes and made Parmigiano crisps, and was impressed.

So I replaced all my scratched Pro cookware with Ceramica. I can't wait to try the Dutch ovens (great for slow braises, soups) and the larger fry pans (sauce with pasta, frittate, vegetables with garlic, extra virgin, peperoncino). Pro Ceramica is not cheap.  But my cookware is important to me, and it's less expensive than Calphalon One that Megan recommended in her most informative post on holiday gift giving.  (Note: I bought the Kyocera slicer on her advice and adore it.)  Ceramica is sold in the U.S. by Gocookware.  

-February 2010 link to article published in  The Atlantic Magazine

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