With the world as we know it contracting to the size of our homes, the ethos behind the cookware brand Our Place couldn’t strike a more poignant note. Inspired by the ability of home cooking to building communities, connections and culture all across America, Our Place is a line of stylish cooking and dining essentials that highlights the power of the shared table to bring people together. (Even if just over Zoom at the moment.)
Our Place acknowledges the intrinsic multi-ethnic personality of kitchens in contemporary America. Designed after surveying a range of communities to find out what kitchen tools they relied on the most, the pieces in its hassle-free collection exhibit a versatility and broad-mindedness that allows them to be adapted to a myriad of uses - no matter what ethnicity or culinary tradition it’s placed in.
It’s signature piece, the Always Pan, exemplifies this to a tee. 10 inches in diameter with a deeper body that lends itself as much to stir-frying and sautéing as it does to stewing, the aluminum-core pan comes armed with a health-conscious ceramic non-stick surface, a utensil that neatly nests in the handle spout of the pan’s handle, a stainless steel steamer basket that fits neatly inside the pan that makes steaming broccoli or frozen dumplings a dream, as well as a built-in spout to easily decant gravies and sauces. Apart from being Teflon, PFAS and PPA-free, the pan is also compatible with all cooktops and is dishwasher safe.
Now we know its not instantly possible to get excited about a pan, but touted as doing the job of eight pieces of traditional cookware, the Always pan puts the ease back into home cooking. It’s even prompted many of its owners to experiment and take up new cooking projects that they might not have previously considered. Available in four eye-catching colours, and a smart lid that lets off steam when needed, this is an ideal accompaniment to culinary endeavours, regardless of scale/proficiency level. The LA-based company, which is founded by Shiza Shadid, a co-founder of the Malala Fund, also invests in ethical factories that create supportive environments for the teams who make its products, and collaborates with artists and artisanal maker communities where possible.
Completed by flatware essentials, like stackable glasses, side bowls and plates, and limited edition specialty pieces, such as a traditional cleaver brandishing a Chinese ebony wood handle, or a mortar and pestle hand carved from locally mined volcanic rock, Our Place puts all the accouterment of a contemporary kitchen in easy reach. Through its partnership with the Los Angeles Food Policy Council to support access to good food, the company has also currently committed to donating 10 meals to feeding America with every purchase.
Words: Pei-Ru Keh
Photography: Our Place