The era of disrupters is here. From mattresses to plants, a new generation of entrepreneurs have imbued fresh design, sustainability, internet marketing, and technological innovation into age-old industries. The latest to get a revamp: kitchenware. From matte colors to pretty details, the new breed of direct-to-consumer brands not only appeals to millennial cooks buying Dutch ovens on Instagram but anyone looking for a functional beautiful kitchen gear refresh.
Today’s review: Material
Material integrates form and function with earthy colors like sand and clay in its line of cookware, prepware, knives, tools, dinnerware, and even storage and care accessories. In other words, the brand sells complete kitchen and dinner table solutions.
I was initially tipped off about Material by Instagram which stealthily monitored my kitchen renovation research so it could send me appropriate marketing. For once, it worked. I went to the Material site to learn more.
Eunice Byun is the co-founder and CEO of Material. Founded with her long-time friend, Dave Nguyen, their goal was to create high-quality, thoughtfully designed “things for the kitchen, bringing inspiration to the home cook and joy to the everyday,” according to their press statement.
Eunice started her career at Goldman Sachs. She helped launch and advise several start-ups in the consumer space and was most recently Head of Digital at Revlon. In this role, she set the digital strategy for the enterprise and elevated digital marketing, social media, and digital innovation across the organization. This background undoubtedly helped Material reach its target demographics on social channels like Instagram.
I decided to try out a cutting board, flipper, and a non-stick pan.
I can’t think of the last time (ever) a cutting board brought me Marie Kondo joy but when I unpackaged the green reBoard in the color Deep, I relished tearing up over shallots and onions again. Though a cutting board by definition will be abused by repeated knife use, my chef’s knife only made small marks. The bread knife, however, left jagged rips, so I moved my boules and batards back to a wooden board.
I love that these colorful BPA-free cutting boards are made entirely of kitchen plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane and will certainly add a few more to my collection.
Next, I tested a Soft-Edged Turner in an earthy pink called Terra Rosa. In the past, I hadn’t given much thought to prepware or kitchen
tools. I just grabbed whatever was on sale at a kitchen supply store in Chelsea. But it’s a new dawn in the modern kitchen and we can have attractive and functional tools worthy of display on the counter.
The Soft-Edge Turner is made of BPA-free silicone that has a reinforced nylon core for stability that complements silicone’s softness. The tool turned, flipped, folded, and scraped eggs, mushrooms or whatever I was cooking in the pan, with ease.
Finally, I tested a Coated Pan in the color dune. The shimmery color was imbued into the non-stick coating which is non-toxic, fume-free, lead-free, and cadmium-free and made with stainless steel alloy. At the heart of the pan is a core of 5-ply copper for even heat retention and transfer.
I have used the pan 5 times for everything from warming tortillas to cooking eggs and fish. The pan’s non-stick coating works beautifully but does scratch easily. Never use metal utensils. That’s an obvious statement but when my husband was frying up pork and “gently,” so he claims, used a fork to press the meat, the coating incurred 3 scratch marks. He’s used to our commercial-grade SCANPANS which are non-stick but metal utensil tolerant.
I don’t fault the Material pan but it’s a reminder that coatings are just that and require care to maintain. Wood or silicone only!
If you’re trying to avoid non-stick surfaces, Material sells classic stainless steel pots and pans with copper cores, too.
Currently, Material is offering free shipping on purchases over $35 with a 60-day trial and lifetime guarantee. If you’re looking for a gift, the site has items categorized by price point. While the cut-off for Christmas has passed, digital gift cards are available and delivered instantly.