We Talked to the Mastermind Behind Our Favorite Spatula

updated Feb 18, 2020
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Credit: Amazon

Samantha Rose didn’t invent the spatula — she perfected it. At least that’s how we feel about her brainchild, the GIR Premium Silicone Spatula, which came to be after a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2012. The spatula effectively launched her silicone kitchen tools company GIR, which stands for “Get It Right,” and now engineers every essential cooking utensil you can think of.

Less than a decade later, Samantha’s GIR spatula is what we at Kitchn consider to be the statue of David of spatulas. Okay, okay, yes, Michelangelo used marble, but Samantha molded this spatula from the finest food-grade silicone money can buy. Heat resistant up to 550 degrees, 100 percent dishwasher safe, and virtually indestructible, it’s no wonder that this platonic ideal of spatulas is beloved by professional chefs and home cooks alike.

To get to the bottom of why we’re so obsessed with this kitchen workhorse, we went straight to Samantha herself for the inside scoop. (That was a subtle spatula pun — did you get it?) Here are a few questions with the founder who absolutely Got It Right.

What were you doing B.S. (Before Spatula)?
I majored in English Literature and Writing in college. (So useful right?!) After that, I did a lot of work in editing and then worked in branding and marketing. I’m not a chef but I’m an avid home cook who loves science and engineering and wanted to be an astronaut growing up. (I still do.) It was really all the hobbies that made me who I am that informed what happened next with all that GIR became.

When you first launched your Kickstarter for this project, were you confident you’d get full funding?
I was! I come from an entrepreneurial family, so that confidence is part of my DNA. That’s not to say I wasn’t totally surprised. The fact that the Kickstarter worked was really encouraging and exciting, especially since it was from people we didn’t know. During our month-long campaign, we raised just about $50,000 for a spatula, which is something most people already had… We took that as a sign.

GIR stands for “Get It Right.” What did you find that most other spatulas got wrong?
There were a few different kinds of spatulas but at the time, none of them were entirely silicone. The wood-handled ones are not dishwasher safe and can also burn on the stove. Rubber blades are affixed with a hole that’s a bacteria and grease trap. Metal-handled ones get really hot to the touch and can scratch your pan’s surface. Plastic ones melt on the stove and have inflexible blades which are really difficult to control.

The idea for this particular spatula started when I broke the one I had in my kitchen. It had a wooden handle and a rubber blade and the handle broke off. When it came apart, I saw how gunky the inside was which really grossed me out. I remember saying to my husband, ‘why don’t they just make this out of one-piece?’ It was like the most obvious thing of all time. I went to the ends of the internet and couldn’t find one and couldn’t shake that seed of a thought.

How many iterations did it take to land on the final design?
It’s funny to say out loud, but we really only had one. This platonic form of a spatula was sitting in my head ready to be molded. It was born that way. Lady Gaga would be proud.

While I was researching, I ended up ordering silicone modeling material online and made a spatula that looks very much like the current iteration. From there, I went down this rabbit-hole of finding the best, most food-safe, heat-safe silicone. I’m a bit of a geek and was nerding out over the material science of it all. No joke, I ended up calling a rocket scientist to figure out the highest possible temperature rating that silicone could achieve, and then sourced the best we could find.

What’s the single best feature of this spatula — in your opinion?
I have two answers, I’m sorry. The first is the obvious one, that it’s made out of one piece. It didn’t exist at the time. I also love how heat resistant it is in terms of functionality. I can leave it in the pan while I sauté my onions and pick it back up and not burn my hands.

Which color is most popular?
To this day, it’s red! Part of that is because it was our flagship color. Now we have the whole rainbow. This season though, navy blue is totally stealing the show. Hilariously, it’s also the Pantone Color of the Year.

We’ve written about how much celebrity chefs like Giada De Laurentiis love your spatula. Is there anyone else that you’d like to convert to a GIR evangelist?
We’ve been blessed with so many people saying nice things about this spatula that once was just a thing in my head. I’d love to get it in front of Alison Roman, though, because she’d bring a lot of attitude to it. I’d love her honest thoughts.

What’s the next kitchen tool that you want to perfect?
We’ve made it to the end of the tools rainbow, and that’s been really satisfying. We’ve been working on a lot of things and now we’re tweaking truly airtight silicone storage bags. All the ones that are out there aren’t 100 percent airtight … we tried them.

Thanks so much for sharing, Samantha! Check out the rest of the GIR product line here.