It's still silicone, silicone, and more silicone at this year's Housewares show. It has been the hot thing in kitchenware for years now, and while I have grown completely disenchanted with it as a material for bakeware, there were a few clever uses I noted yesterday. My favorite uses of silicone were these lids from two European companies. One as stretchy and malleable as Silly Putty, and another shaped like a lily pad, but with the strength of a vise. Lékué
Lékué, based in Barcelona, focuses their kitchenware line on silicone completely. They have silicone steamers and roasters, and some clever, well-designed tools like a piping pod for chocolate sauce and frosting. But what really captured me were these lids, designed in different sizes for various bowls and cups. They roll over the top of a bowl and hold on hard. I really loved this sort of reusable bowl cover. Unlike others that feel like they will fall off (or take up too much room in the cupboards) these were sturdy yet completely malleable to the bowl.
The Charles Viancin products are also silicone, and they draw their forms from nature. These lids were designed to look like lily pads, with a pink bud on top. I appreciated the whimsical form, which stood out among all the plain and functional gear around it. But these lids are still quite functional as well! With no apparent effort they grab the top of a bowl or pan and hold tight. I was able to lift a glass bowl straight up as it was gripped by the lid.
They have one other lid I liked, which is designed for pots and pans, and is heatproof. It can be adjusted to the size of the pan, and then stored by its own suction on the wall.
• More about Lékué: Lékué;s European website
• More about Charles Viancin Products from Charles Viancin
Each of these products will be available soon from US and North American distributors.
Related: Design Meets Cookware: Silicone Steam Roasting Bowls
(Images: Faith Durand)