Beyond Staub and Le Creuset: 8 French Kitchen Brands You Need to Know About
Quick! Name your favorite French kitchen brands. Staub and Le Creuset probably come to mind. (If they didn’t, it’s okay! But it’s worth knowing that these two brands still make their iconic Dutch ovens — and more — in France. Yes, we know, Dutch ovens being made in France is silly.) While those two brands are probably the most popular among American home cooks, they are certainly not the only ones. Lots of cookware, bakeware, and kitchen gadgets get made in France — and many of these things are available in the States, too. Let’s take a look at some of the top brands.
Cristel cookware has been around since 1826 (the factory is in Burgundy, France), but it’s surprisingly not too well-known in the States. The company makes 3- and 5-ply cookware featuring stainless steel and aluminum layers. What stands out the most when it comes to Cristel cookware is the fact that the handles on most pieces are removable. These removable handles make it so that the pots and pans can nest neatly. They also make for easy oven-to-table serving, efficient dishwasher loading, and for nice customization.
Shop: Cristel at Bloomingdale’s
2. de Buyer
The de Buyer family has been making high-end cookware in Val-d’Ajol (a cute French town!) since 1830, and its pots and pans are very popular among professional chefs. The bestsellers? The carbon steel pieces. In addition to cookware, de Buyer also makes tools and gadgets (and people especially geek out over the brand’s mandolines).
Shop: de Buyer on Amazon
3. Emile Henry
Perhaps a little more well-known than others on this list, Emile Henry bakeware has been manufactured in the Burgundy region of France since 1850. Of course, this area is known for its wine, which comes from grapes grown in the mineral-rich limestone soil. It’s the same clay and soil of the region that’s used to create the brand’s ceramic cookware and bakeware. Kitchn editors are obsessed with Emile Henry’s gorgeous ruffled pie dish, bread cloche, and pizza stone.
Shop: Emile Henry at Williams Sonoma
If you’ve ever spent time browsing in a baking supply store, chances are you’ve seen Gobel baking molds (in copper or tin) without even realizing it. Etienne Gobel opened his factory in Paris back in 1887 and the company has been making molds (and more) for more than five generations. Planning to make a tart in the near future? You’ll want to pick up a Gobel tart pan or two.
Shop: Gobel at Williams Sonoma
5. Matfer Bourgeat
Matfer Bourgeat is a family-owned company that got its start 200 years ago (it’s been available in the U.S. for 30 years). The brand specializes in cookware and other gadgets for restaurants, bakeries, and professionals — so it’s not well-known among home cooks. The company makes tons of cookware (in black steel, stainless, nonstick, and copper), but what we’d really recommend is any and all of the pastry and baking tools.
Shop: Matfer Bourgeat on Amazon
If you want copper cookware (who doesn’t?), Mauviel is your brand. The company was founded in 1830 in a Normandy village called Villedieu-les-Poêles, which, even back then, had a long history in the metal and copper industry. The brand also makes stainless steel or aluminum cookware, but, if you’ve going to buy Mauviel, why not get what it’s known for?
Shop: Mauviel at Williams Sonoma
Joseph Opinel worked in his father’s workshop (back in the 1890s!) and spent all of his free time trying to create the most perfect pocket knife. He ended up making what’s now known as the Opinel No. 8, which is so popular around the French Alps that company reps say you can stop any local and you’ll likely find a No. 8 in their pocket! In addition to a range of pocket knife sizes, Opinel now also makes table knives, this sweet set for kids, a super-sharp cheese knife set, a gorgeous bread knife, and more.
Shop: Opinel on Amazon
In 1810, the Peugeot brothers converted a family mill into a steel mill and got to work, tinkering with coffee mills and bikes. It wasn’t until 1874 that the company launched the first model of the Peugeot pepper mill, and now, the grinder is known among some as the Rolls Royce of pepper mills. (You’ll often see them used in fancy restaurants, but the price point isn’t prohibitively high for the average shopper.) Peugeot’s pepper mills are so beloved for their looks (they come in a range of sizes and finishes) and because the stainless steel grinding mechanisms have been perfected to resist corrosion and churn out the perfect grind. The company makes other products (cars in France!), but the pepper mills are the big deal in the U.S.
Shop: Peugeot at Williams Sonoma
This is certainly not a complete list. Got any others to add? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!